Happy Father’s Day! You and your wild ways were my greatest teacher. Logic and reason was something that you came into through your life; being the youngest of your kids, I feel that we might have grown up a bit together as your traveling days waned.
This past week I traveled northern shores of the Atlantic, awed by the ocean and feeling you with me. It reminded me of a time when I was going on a cruise, and concerned about money and taking the trip. You sent me a letter saying “go for it and to have fun in every port”. I still have that note, your handwriting as clear and block-like as the day it was written.
You called me “baby doll” when I was little and I called you Alfie forever. As I got older, the understanding that your alcoholism brought a lot of challenges into our home gave our relationship a new twist. The addiction had always been there but like the tide, it ebbed and flowed. Something I never noticed as a small child though in later years, it taught me what it is to have compassion and to be human.
It was hard, really hard to have a father that sometimes drank too much, mostly because I thought you were perfect. But it was far harder, cement in your heart-harder, the day you died. I lost my compass rose, the role model who taught me to always go for it, and the man who let me stand on his toes to dance.
I choose to honor you with so many good memories. Some of the best times were getting up at the crack of whatever, hopping in the skiff, and quietly rowing out to our lobster boat, the summer day unfolding before us. Wooden barrels of bait hoisted down to us from the pier above and just like that, we were off through the harbor channel for a day of hard work on the water. I think that might be what heaven is like, don’t you Alfie?
You were funny and wise, and such an unlikely role model. I wonder what you would think of the family now. So much loss, so much cancer. I think it is best that you don’t have to witness my melanoma challenges. Like you, I am playing the hand I was dealt with humor and wisdom. Thanks for reminding me to have fun in every port that I sail into in life. Sometimes it’s just that simple. #melanomatheskinwerein #melanoma #happyfathersday #inspiration #143
We can-cer vive!