My Dad taught me
to be proud that I’m smart,
to eat pizza as often as I want it,
not to smoke,
that it’s possible to burn soup,
to drive a car,
to help the drivers of all of the cars around me by providing free verbal advice,
to parallel park in one move,
to play tennis and be the wall,
to hit a softball,
to turn off the main water valve before removing a faucet,
to work hard,
to be honest,
to be frugal,
to play craps,
to make chestnuts fall from the tree by throwing a giant log and running,
to make up my own mind,
to believe what I believe,
that if you step in dog poo in the dark in your living room with bare feet it is OK to swear,
to wash my own car,
where the oil goes,
to hold in what hurts the most and keep my chin up,
that it is possible to lie on the floor, flat on your back, and hold your head up for hours,
to stand during A Bridge Over Troubled Waters,
that a sunburn on the face of a blue-eyed Irishman is a beautiful thing,
to say Goddamnsonofabitch through clenched teeth under my breath to relieve stress,
to read the best and skip the rest,
to do crossword puzzles,
to play with small children,
and that Peter Pan had it all figured out: we are all still children at heart.
My dad has been gone from the earth for a long time. He died today, many years ago. And I still love him.
Once you love someone, from your core to theirs, nothing can pry the feeling from your heart. Not even death.
Daddy, I love you.