Most folks who know me would declare I am always five or ten minutes late. I have heard it said that I will probably be late for my own funeral, but if so, at least that day, I won’t get fussed at about it. Well, I guess that depends on who is there.
Father’s Day is coming and instead of writing about it next week when it’s predictable, I am breaking the trend and celebrating a full seven days early. Still, I ask myself, and you, this question: is it ever really too soon to say thanks to dear old dad? Mothers have their special day, but let’s face it. Most of them get attention all year long, and it’s right they should. If you have ever read this column, you know my own mama is its most frequent subject. It’s a fact that fathers just don’t get as much attention as they deserve.
Chris tells the story of his first car, a fully restored 1967 Ford Mustang with a high performance engine and painted candy apple red. His daddy had worked on it secretly for a whole year and gave it to him for Christmas when he was 15 years old. Here comes mama again, but if you knew Chris’s mama, you are aware that she was a formidable woman. She almost always got her way, and she was determined Chris should not get that sports car—far too dangerous for her baby. I think it was the one time in his life when his daddy actually defied her because somehow it takes a dad to understand just how badly a boy needs his first car.
Some years later on an acre of land far off the main road, my daddy worked night and day, whenever he could find a few stolen moments after the livestock were all tended and the 18-wheelers which occupied most of his time were running fine, to build me my first little beauty shop across the road from the home where I grew up. He built it with his own hands and gave me the key, literally and figuratively, to a successful career which afforded me the opportunity to explore my talents and to provide for myself while doing so. Perhaps he had a moment of sadness now and then accepting that his gift meant I would never be the pharmacist he dreamed about, but he never said a word.
That’s the thing about daddies. They often don’t say very many words, so it’s too easy for us to forget their gifts. For the good ones, their actions speak much more loudly. For obvious reasons, I don’t know a thing about being “daddy’s little girl.” No bigger “mama’s boy” was ever born on this earth, and for that I don’t apologize. I do hope, however, for the sake of all the fine dads out there that their little girls give them the affection and appreciation boys like us sometimes overlook.
At least I have not overlooked it today, and I am a full seven days ahead of schedule. Mark that down.
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