I believe one of the most important relationships of a person's life is the one they have with their father. Those who never know theirs or who have become estranged may feel the effects forever. I am not one of those people. I'm what you would call a quintessential daddy's girl.
My pops didn't always look like Santa Claus. No, at one time he was dashing and bold. Well, still is bold, but you know what I mean. I remember helping him wash his Chevy Luv under our mulberry tree and sipping Dr. Pepper in our overstocked garage while oldies blared on a small radio. Sometimes we'd go eat breakfast at Corky's on Niles Street. Dad always could talk to anyone, anywhere.
Being the willful child that I was, on a Disneyland trip he would let me hold his pinkie instead of his hand. Mom never allowed this, but holding Dad's pinkie was just as safe, I assure you. A papa hawk ... he was always present where us kids were concerned.
When I was in labor people were milling in and out of the room all day and I was trying to sleep because I had been up all night. I told them I was OK, just wanted to sleep, but when I came to feeling really nauseous and looked to my right no one was there. Where the hell had everyone gone? I needed them there now (labor makes you insane). A frantic but in-slow-motion look to my left made the insanity melt away. There was my dad standing close by the bed. He had stayed, watching me sleep while the others were out. I've never felt unsafe in this world — because my dad wouldn't stand for it.
Thank you, Dad. My love for you is endless.