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Father’s Day Reflections

June 16, 2014

Yesterday I had a wonderful Father’s Day.  It was full of a vast array of moments, feelings and memories.

Tess, Canyon and I went to 11am mass at my brother’s church, St. Lawrence O’Toole, in Matteson, IL.

After mass, we waited for my brother at the nearby park.  The kids swung on the swings.  I gave Canyon an “underdog” – a push on the swing involving running under the swing and pushing him up over my head.  My mom used to give them to me when I was a young boy, and it was nice that I could still give one to my boy.  Then Canyon and I played catch with a baseball together.

Then Tess drove us to the Texas Road House in Orland Park, IL where my mom treated us to dinner.

While in the bathroom at the restaurant, I was waiting to wash my hands behind a young man and his son who was around 2 years old.  The man held his son up to the sink in his right arm and washed his son’s hands with his left had as he coached his son on how to wash his hands.  “Put soap on your hands.  Rub your hands together.  Rinse the soap off your hands in the water.”  It was a sweet reminder of my own children when they were young, and of my own dad.

My dad lost his father in a diving and drowning incident when my dad was only 8 years old. I once asked my dad when I was an adult what he remembered about his father.  My dad thought for a moment, then guided me over to the kitchen sink.  He turned on the water faucet, took my hands in his, took some some, and began to wash my hands in his under the flowing water.  He said he remembered his father washing his hands with soap when he was a boy.  His father’s hands were very large compared to his.  There were strong.  They were gentle.  They were loving.  He carried that memory all his life and he shared it with me so tenderly.

I was tempted to take a photo of the young man in the restaurant bathroom as he washed his son’s hands so I could email it to him as a Father’s Day gift.  I thought better of it as I thought it might be perceived as an invasion of his privacy, or worst, just weird.

But I couldn’t let the moment pass though, without mention, and when the father was done washing his son’s hands, and was drying them, I wished him Happy Father’s Day, and told him what a sweet scene it was to see him washing his son’s hands and caring for him so tenderly.  I told him my own kids were older now, but I remember what a joyful gift they were at that young age of his own son.  I told him some day the boy might not even be speaking to him, a reflection of my own sad fate on this Father’s Day, then he would miss moments like this when he could wash his son’s hands.  Then, speaking to his son, I said, “But you’ll be sure not let that happen. Right?”.    The young man thanked me for my kind words and wished me Happy Father’s Day too.   It was very kind human moment between us fathers.

After a yummy dinner, we went to a free concert in the park in Frankfort, IL where a Blues Brothers tribute band played some classic blues and rhythm review standards.  We enjoyed the music and got some ice cream at a nearby ice cream shop.  And, before the concert was over, Canyon got us all up dancing which was a very fun memory to make, dancing, my my son and daughter.  It is so nice to be dancing again, and making memories dancing with my kids.


Canyon, Tess, Leslie Thomas and I at the Blues Brothers tribute concert


I also received a lovely photo album with photos including this recent one below with Tess and Canyon, a framed photo of my mom and dad when from when they were first dating, and several nice cards including one signed by my son Cody who was not with us.


Recent photo of me, Canyon and Tess while out for dinner

Later in the evening I snapped one last selfie photo of the day with two of the three kids I love most in the world before they scampered away for the night.


Canyon, me and Tess

And, as wonderful as the day was with Tess and Canyon, I still missed Cody very deeply and wished he would have been with us.



One Comment leave one →
  1. Marge Walsh permalink
    June 16, 2014 6:16 pm

    Thank you for sharing that memory of your dad’s. One often doesn’t know when a special moment/memory is being formed – one that will never be forgotten by the recipient. I have a few very special memories of my dad, even though I was only four when he passed.   Aunt Marge

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