Saturday, June 16, 2012

The Power of Dad

For those of us fortunate enough to have grown up with a good father, Father's Day is always an occasion for fond memories. It's sometimes surprising, the things we remember from childhood, and the startling occasions they pop to mind.

For example, whenever I see Old Spice men's products, I think of Dad. Since my earliest memories, Old Spice was his brand. It makes me happy that my son sometimes uses Old Spice now.

If I'm hurrying through an airport and see a man getting his shoes shined, it reminds of Dad. He was meticulous about shining his shoes before work. He often told me that his mother had trained him and his four brothers, raised on the brink of poverty, to have shined shoes, a haircut, and a clean handkerchief at all times. 

There's a message in that for today's tough financial times. No matter our circumstances, it's within our power to present a dignified front and take pride in our appearance.

Dad grew up before Kleenex was a household word, so I suppose a supply of clean tissues would suffice today. But I still like "hankies." Dad's handkerchiefs were my training ground when mom taught me to iron. "First iron the center, then follow the borders; fold it in half, then iron the crease; fold into a square, press it flat..." On those rare occasions when I see a handkerchief, I think of my father. 

There are so many other games, beer bottles, bowling balls, bathrobes--and those are just the "B"s.  Even 25 years after his passing, almost every day I'm reminded of my father. It's sufficient proof, to me, that whether he's with us in the here and now or watching from beyond, a good dad stays with us for life.

Thanks, Dad. Happy Father's Day.