I remember lying in bed awake at night, when I was little. If I could just keep my eyes open for thirty minutes, I’d hear the sound of the front door, and you’d be home. If I was awake I could run to the balcony and say goodnight. Unless it was Sunday, then you were already home, and I’d fall asleep to your voice. Thanks for teaching me to love hymns and poetry.
I remember the blank pads of paper and the new sharp pencils. I thought every kid knew museums were for sketching, especially in Italy. Unless it wasn’t a museum day, then we were back on the vineyard, up at the crack of dawn for our boot camp. I’m still probably terrible at throwing a javelin. Thanks for teaching me my family are my best friends.
I remember being so grateful for Djibouti – if only all capitals were named after their counties; It would be so much easier to memorize them all and I’d be able to play on the beach so much sooner. Unless of course it was a whole day in the car, and then it wasn’t just capitals but poetry too, maybe scriptures. Thanks for teaching me to love the world, and that my mind can do anything.
I remember you ordering duck. Thank goodness you didn’t order for me that night too. I wore a pink shirt and took pictures of the food. That restaurant could only seat 12 people. After dinner you read me poetry by the water, except this time it wasn’t from memory, and this time the words were your own. It was about Mom. Thanks for teaching me how a man should love his wife.
I remember a dark night. I was tired and alone. I read an email and tears of gratitude mixed with hopeless sobs. But in your words I always find comfort. You said you loved me not because I was smart or talented or kind or beautiful, but simply because I was yours. Thank you for teaching me how God loves me.
I remember the excitement in your voice when I answered the phone. And then the tears streaming down my face as you recounted the conversation. The man I’ve loved the longest and the man I loved the most sharing why they loved me. Thank you for saying yes, for giving me away, and for letting me being to learn some lessons on my own.
I love you, Dad, but not because you’ve taught me everything I need to know,
just because you’re my dad.