by Lisa Van Ness
I don’t get to see my father very often. I knew this would be the case when we moved 900 miles away from what used to be a five minute drive to my parent’s house. Now we rely on telephone calls, IM’s and video chat, in order to keep in touch.
It’s hard when the special days roll around, such as Father’s Day, and we are not all around the formal dining room table together enjoying each other’s company, laughing, sharing stories and reminiscing about the past.
My seat at the formal dining room table was always next to my father, him to the left of me at the head of the table. I have an embedded image of him in my mind smiling and laughing during those meals, sometimes so much that tears would form in his eyes. I think the reason this image has always stuck with me is because most of the time he would be laughing at stories being told of my antics growing up. Some stories were really and truly funny and some stories were….well; let’s just say I wasn’t always the angel I am now. It sure is nice that he laughs about those days now because once upon a time, he didn’t.
While my father did not always have a lot of patience when I did things that I shouldn’t have, what he did have was wisdom, knowledge and plenty of love in him. At the time though, I didn’t realize that. I think at some point as children we all think that our parents don’t want us to have fun or that they enjoy saying “no” and “I don’t care what everyone else is doing”. As a parent now, I find myself saying the very same things to my daughter and giving her the same advice and coaching that my father once gave me. Sometimes as those words of wisdom leave my mouth I begin to smile and thank my father for being there for me.
This year Father’s Day will be extra special because I am going to see my dad and it won’t be on my computer screen. We are driving to New Jersey on Father’s Day weekend to help our friends pack up and move down by us. How lucky was I that they picked that weekend to move!! This year I won’t have to picture my father laughing at the table. This year I will get to see him laugh in person and I will get to wipe that happy tear from his eye.
“Keep smiling daddy. I’m coming home!!”