Father’s Day

Father’s Day is a holiday honoring one’s father, as well as fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.

I miss my dad as many of you miss your dad. The influence on ones life, (if you are blessed to have great parents) is reflected by the many times your dad told you or showed you he loved you.

I remember one time when my mom, dad, and I were at Fosters Freeze located on the miracle mile located in San Anselmo on the outskirts of Fairfax California. I was about 6 years old at the time.

We rarely would go out for dinner, so this was a big deal. It was about six o’clock when we arrived, My dad took our order and walked to the window to order our food. We sat at an outdoor table just outside the front door of the fast food restaurant.

Adjacent to us were two teenage boys probably around 17 or 18 years old. They were kind of loud, exhibiting typical teenager behavior. We started to eat our food and somehow I got the sauce from the burger in my eye.

I started to cry and the boys at the adjacent table started to laugh. My dad wasn’t having any of that, got up, and admonished those hooligans for their unruly behavior.

They quickly apologized as my dad was in a fury. He turned on a switch I didn’t know he had. Those boys ate quickly and left with their tails between their legs.

I was quite impressed by my dad sticking up for me. I never forgot that first instance of my dad coming to my aid. There were many other instances (usually financial) where my dad offered assistance, just when I needed help.

Another time that comes to mind was when I was fired from the Caprice restaurant in Tiburon California. I had worked there off and on (because of college) to the ripe age of 22.

At that time I was made assistant manager of the restaurant with one of my duties depositing the receipts for that night and locking up the restaurant. Well, as fate would have it, one night after I closed the restaurant the safe was broken into and the cash was stolen.

Because I was the last one (supposedly) to open and close the safe, they fired me for stealing. I would never steal anything… and so it was a very humiliating experience.

My dad felt my pain. He would call up the Caprice (unbeknownst to me) and make reservations for large parties on their busiest nights giving fake names and phone numbers. This was before cell phones or being able to track the number. So they had to set the table for that reservation that never showed.

Later on, when I found out he was making fake reservations,  I asked him not to do that, but appreciated the spirit in which he attempted to seek revenge.  Interesting enough, a theft from the safe happened again shortly there after.

They caught the perpetrator, a chef, and fired him. They offered my job back after realizing their mistake… but I respectfully declined.

Father’s day, to honor my dad, was a wonderful event. My mom would always prepare a special meal for my dad, which I of course benefited from. Usually the meal was fried chicken and mashed potatoes with Kansas style green beans. The beans were cooked in bacon grease with chopped bacon infused into the mixture. Lovely!

My mom and I would buy a present for my dad which usually consisted of his favorite plant variety… succulents. A plant nursery down the street became my dad’s favorite place to procure said plant variety. That is where we would go for exotic varieties of the succulents to surprise and delight my father.

I certainly miss my dad. He passed away in August of 2011. It is a rare day that I don’t think of my mom and dad. Beyond the measure of love and service to others they exemplified a warmth and forgiveness that goes along with the mantra of unconditional love.

As time marches on I am blessed to have a child of my own. Now I look forward to the beautiful sentiment that trumps all presents as written by my beautiful daughter.