Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tranquility: Reflecting on Presence

Tranquility is important to me.  It is extra important on a day like today.  I was conflicted about my post for today.  April 23 is an emotional day for me as it is both my birthday and the anniversary of my dad's death.  I wrote about my memories of my dad's death during last year's A to Z Challenge and I'm glad that I did.  Click here if you'd like to read it.  This year, I feel like reflecting on my dad's presence, not his death. 

Tranquility on the Bay Front
He was a very calm person.  The kind of person you could just sit next to without feeling obligated to engage in conversation.  It's a bit difficult to describe his presence but I think of words like peaceful, kind, humble, passionate.  He was the sort of dad who you were proud of.  Not for any specific reason but just because he was his own person.   

He was funny.  He would do things that seemed so out of character for him but would make you laugh so hard your stomach hurt.  Once when I was a child, we went to the beach.  I guess that it wasn't planned because my dad didn't have his bathing suit with him.  So, he just stripped down to his bikini underwear.  No big deal.  They looked just like Speedos. 

He loved desserts and would make my sister and I order dessert when we went out to eat, even if we didn't want it.  That way, he could eat them and not feel guilty for ordering three pieces of pie.

When I graduated high school, my parents hosted a big graduation party for me.  My dad catered the party and bought me a really cool graduation dress.  He was really good at planning parties and events.  He even planned my mom's wedding when she married my step-dad.  Both he and my mom made being a child of divorced parents very easy.

I took this environmental education class in high school and one of our field trips was spending a few days in Key West.  I had never traveled without my parents as they were quite protective.  My dad booked a room in Key West during the time that I was there just in case I needed something.  He met us out for dinner one night and I never felt weird about it.  I actually really enjoyed spending time with him and, even then, I appreciated his protectiveness.

Seventeen years ago my life changed.  I experienced my first major trauma the day my dad died.  It seems like forever ago.  I miss him.  I'm happy that I can still remember him.  I still remember his scruffy beard, the way he would hang on to my sister and I at family events to mask his insecurity, the flannel shirts that he would wear no matter what season it was, how he would make my sister and I cover our eyes during scary parts in movies, that he loved his family unconditionally and he connected with God prior to his death.

I know that I am like my dad in many ways.  We share similar personalities and I hope that his presence will stay with me as long as I'm alive.  If I ever have a child, I pray that I am able to share my dad with my son or daughter.  That he or she will know my dad through me.  Remembering him and sharing him with others is how I will keep his presence alive.

*I'm participating in the 2013 A to Z Challenge. Every day in April (except for Sundays) I will be posting according to a letter of the Alphabet. To read more about my theme, click here.


  1. I enjoyed your reflections on the best of your father. It brought to mind, memories of my own. Despiet their imperfections, fathers can be a source of great love. Your father sounds nice--mine was more selfish, but still much admired.
    A - Z Challenge

    1. Thanks for sharing Francene. I'm very lucky to have had such a caring father.

  2. What a sweet tribute to your dad. I'm not too strong when it comes to loss. Yes, be sure to pass on his memory.


    1. I'm not always sure I'm strong about loss. I like to think that I am but sometimes I'm afraid it's more about distancing myself. I'm really good at building emotional walls - the side effect of working in social services. Thanks for the kind words.

  3. Such a lovely tribute to an inspiring father. Blessings!
    Pam at 2 Encourage