Dads are Special People
July 20, 2007
Fond Memories of Dad
After Mom died, Dad and I took a trip together every summer. Just the two
of us, father and daughter. This was especially meaningful because Dad was
aging and we lived 2000 miles apart so a week with Dad, undistracted from
other family members or from work was a treat.
Our first destination was a cruise up the Mississippi. We boarded the
steamboat in St. Louis and noticed that we were one of the youngest people
on the cruise! Even Dad, at 73, looked young! We sat in rocking chairs on
the deck, the warm breeze blowing on our faces, admiring the lush green
trees lining the mighty river. A jazz band played in the background.
On the deck we met John, who went to a singles dance for senior citizens
at his local church, met his wife, and asked her to marry him two weeks
later. It's John's first marriage at 65. Then there was Jane, a teacher
from Little Rock, Arkansas who danced with Bill Clinton decades ago at a
school fundraiser. Sometimes on the deck Dad and I sat quietly, reading.
At lunchtime we stood in line for the buffet. People asked if Dad was my
brother! Amazing for our 38 year age difference! Dad filled his plate with
bread, meats, and cheeses to make a sandwich. The most important
ingredient to any sandwich was mayonnaise. Dad loved mayonnaise! Anything
else between two pieces of bread was extra fillings.
After lunch we docked at Alton, Missouri. This small town was home to
dozens and dozens of antique shops. Dad, with little interest in shopping
or antiques (although he's almost an antique himself) walked and walked in
and out of shop after shop. We walked up the hill, down the hill, and
through the old town. We walked all day. It was the longest time I ever
spent shopping with Dad. He was a good sport to come along, simply to
spend time with me.
Each day blended together like the last, until seven days passed. On the
seventh day we reached Minnesota, the top of the Mississippi, and my home,
Minneapolis. Dad saw my house for the first time and met my two cats,
Coconut and Coffee Bean. Coconut sat on his lap and purred. The two became
This was the first of many trips together, and our last. Dad died a few
months later from being hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street in
his home town of Sacramento California. What made this trip special was
our time together, the two of us.
I had grown from the teenager embarrassed to be with Dad to the adult cherishing the time together. It was the beginning of a yearly tradition that ended shortly after it began.
This Fathers Day I will celebrate by cherishing warm memories, remembering
Dad, and being proud of who I have become.
--- Copyright © 2007 Deborah Rogers
Deborah Rogers is the editor of www.littlelovetales.com, a blog of fond
memories to touch the heart and lift the spirit.
Have something you would like to share?
An insight that has helped you?
We invite you to submit a story/article/poem.