Sunday, June 17, 2012
A Tribute to Fathers' Day: Daddy Loves You Too
o Every Father's Day I remember an unforgettable experience that occurred when I was about four years old. I was sitting in a restaurant with both parents when my mother had to leave early. A few minutes later, missing her already, I began to cry. The owner of the restaurant, who was a friend of my parents, said something which I will remember the rest of my life. He said " Don't cry, Daddy loves you too." Daddy loves you too! This has stuck with me in more than words. It has been felt in the countless helpful deeds, performed by a father who anticipated when I needed help, and gave it, without my even asking. It was shown in advice and guidance in new situations, in silent non-intrusive monitoring of my physical, emotional, social and educational environment, always trying to ensure the best. My father's love was evident in his financial and intellectual support, in helping me achieve my career goals. I dedicated my book to him; this is especially important now, because he died six months ago. Yes, my late father got to see me published. He was eighty-eight years old when he passed away suddenly. I was with him when he died, visiting him in Las Vegas. He was looking forward to going with me to a television interview. He suggested lunch since we were both hungry. As we sat at the table, happily eating, talking about food and the upcoming interview, he suddenly said, "Jean, I'm going to faint. " I got up to help him stay in his chair, but he collapsed to the floor. At that moment, I knew it was over. I was so sure, because in all of my years, I had never seen my father completely collapse. Sure enough, although help came immediately, he could not be revived. He had wanted it that way, no artificial means. Fortunately that was not an option. His heart has simply slowed, then stopped. I had a few minutes with him afterward. I opened his eyes. He looked peaceful, rested, maybe slightly puzzled. No look of pain, fear or suffering. He had simply gone to sleep. We'll meet again someday. I see my father's eyes staring back at me every time I look in the mirror. I feel it in my quiet confidence knowing that through good and bad times my father always believed in me. Yes, Father's Day is a time for all daughters and sons everywhere to celebrate. Because without a doubt, Daddy Loves You Too.