Since it is Father’s Day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite memories of my dad. They may seem odd, but they are precious to me…
When I was little, we used to always go to this place in Wisconsin called Al’s Point. It was a place with cabins to rent and they were all on Lake Alice. I was not much of a fisherman but one of the places I loved there was the Fish House. The Fish House was stinky, dirty, gross and filled with men. This is the place you could go after a day of fishing and clean what you caught. They had counter tops, a sink and garbage cans. The place was small, kind of rickety and had screened windows all the way around. I was filled with flies and fish scales. I love the Fish House because my dad would take me there and he taught me how to clean fish. I wasn’t tall enough to really reach the counter, so we would turn over the minnow bucket and I’d stand on it. I saw fish guts, bellies full of fish eggs, ice picks through catfish heads and prize catches. Why is this place so special? Because I spent time there with my dad. I’ve spent time with my dad in lots of places, but somehow, this rickety, smelly shack holds a special place in my heart. I learned ugly lessons about life (it isn’t fair). I learned about babies in their mommy’s bellies. I learned that some people don’t use nice words. I learned that girls can get yucky and do “boy things” and still be beautiful little girls. I learned that I was powerful and strong too.
My other favorite memory of my dad involves AM radio. Everytime I hear a game being broadcast, I think of him. When we went on family trips, we would drive. Dad was always the driver. The rest of us slept. In that hazy stage of beginning to wake up from sleeping in the car, my eyes would still be closed and I would hear my dad listening to a ball game on AM radio. Baseball, basketball, football – it depended on the season. Mostly I remember baseball because that’s when we traveled most. “It’s a swing and a miss…” I remember hearing announcers say in that crackley, static way that only AM radio has. Dad is a Cardinals fan, so the names of the players from the 80’s will always swirl around in my head. You see, when we were awake, he listened to music – many times whatever my brother, mom or I wanted. But when we were asleep, that’s when he got to listen to the game. I find myself like my father in the sense that when I’m driving and the kids are asleep, I turn to AM radio. I don’t listen to ball games, but each time I hear a radio broadcast of one, I smile fondly and think of my dad. I always felt safe and secure and loved.
So on this Father’s Day I say thank you to my dad. I had, and still have, a wonderful father. I know that I am blessed because of the influence he has had in my life. So I ask you each this – what is your favorite memory of your father? Does he know how special that is to you?