I had planned a week of tributes to my larger-than-life father. Then, Orlando happened. Like so many, I struggled. I’ll save his stories for another time, and resubmit this one. It was special to me.
Father’s Day gifts. Some say it’s more difficult to buy for men, especially as they get older.
Except for my father. He was passionate about so many things.
A lifetime golfer, cigar smoker, bourbon aficionado, poker player, coin collector and best of all, gourmet cook and foodie, he was easy to please when it came to gifts.
On what turned out to be his last Father’s Day, I took him a gourmet fruit basket. He lived just less than an hour away, and this time, I delivered it in person.
Just a few weeks prior, his wife had gathered 3 generations of us for a surprise 74th birthday dinner at a lovely historic Inn.
There were tears as well as joy. It was a huge success.
I could have sent the fruit basket through a florist, I had done that before.
There was something else that motivated me to make the personal visit.
He was flushed and a bit out of breath when he ascended the stairs of the 250 year old inn to the second floor party room. We all noticed.
It was also curious that his wife did not save the special birthday event for his hallmark 75th birthday. She knew.
Congestive heart disease. It had progressed over the few years since his diagnosis and surgery.
The home health care nurse was arranged. He would need to go on oxygen; bedding and toilet facilities would be set up to allow him to avoid using the stairs at home.
A fiercely proud and independent man, this was his worst nightmare and I wondered how long he would have to endure it.
It didn’t take long to find out. I got the call 2 days later.
As we gathered for his funeral service, we were still serving the fruit from that basket.
It only seemed right.
I miss you, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day.