When I was a little girl, I told my dad I wanted to be a bird. I wanted to be able to fly in the sky when the spirit moved me. A bit later I told him I had amended that dream. I wanted to be an airplane pilot, and Dad did not seem shocked.
In his youth, he told me, he too had dreamed of learning to fly, but things got in the way. If I ever got the chance to go for any dream, he counseled me, I should not hold back. The chance might never come again.
I wish my dad had lived to see my sky-borne dream or any other of my dreams come true. He died when I was just 14 years old.
He didn't see me graduate from high school in 1958. He wasn't there to meet my Bob in 1959 or to walk me down the aisle at my wedding in St. Mary's Church in 1960; nor was he there to see his friend and pastor William J. Gallena perform the ceremony...
He never got to hold my children in his lap or watch them grow. He never saw my by-lines, columns, photographs or editorials in local newspapers. He wasn't standing with my husband at Concord Air Park on a frosty "Second Day of Christmas" in 1965, when my flight instructor waved me off to solo in a tiny Piper Colt...
But I've been thinking. Perhaps my father actually was with me through it all. In landmark moments of my life, joyful or triumphant, I have always missed him. But I've also always felt his presence there.
My husband says he feels he knows my father through my words and stories. Good fathers never leave your mind and heart and spirit. They are with you always. What are your own memories of your fathers? (Share with me at firstname.lastname@example.org)