Last month my dad decided it'd be fun to come out and visit his oldest daughter for a weekend ("I miss ya, kid!")...and I can't tell you how much his trip meant to me. The Universe sent us a true gift by making the weather 75 degrees and sunny the whole time. Not too shabby for early November! San Francisco is truly at its finest on sunny days and I was thrilled it put on its best show for Mark Diggy!
There are so many things I love about my dad, but a favorite is that he probably is one of the best examples of how to live life in the moment that I have. I only regret not really realizing this about him until somewhat recently. The man just has a delicate way of being very present while subtly absorbing the pleasures around him. And sometimes, not so subtly absorbing the pleasures. These moments are my favorite. When we walked into a true Italian market on Chestnut Street for lunch, Lucca Deli, my dad suddenly froze in the doorway. He then proceeded to extend his arms to the side (blocking anyone from entering or exiting the deli), take a huge deep breath and exclaimed for the whole shop to hear "Oh kid, do you smell that?! Ahhh...I could stand here all day and smell that!". I must have been inside this market a hundred times since moving to SF and not once had bothered to take in the amazing scent of true Italian food the way my dad just did.
Baseball has always been kind of a 'thing' for my dad and me. I was raised attending and watching Yankee games with him so it was great that he found a flyer for a tour of AT&T Park we could do together. It ended up being a really great tour and the best part was I could tell how much he was enjoying it...
Baseball is certainly his most beloved sport. It was such a big part of his life growing up (his stories are so classic, like scenes right out of The Sandlot) and it's kind of fitting to his general vibe as person; the pace, the history, the culture. My dad, the American classic.
Even in my most simple memories of my dad, I can sense how gentle his soul is. I remember after our nightly baths my sister and I would take turns having our hair blow dried by Pop. One of us would sit at my moms wicker vanity holding a mirror while the other lounged in her nightgown reading books on their bed. I can remember how gently he ran the brush through our hair so as not to cause us any pain if he hit a snaggle. I remember him letting us dress him up (make up and all!), how patiently he would play board games for hours with my sister, and how he religiously drove us to our Saturday dance classes for years; sharing a sandwich and the comic section of his newspaper with one of us while the other attended class. I remember the sled rides at the retention basin, the chocolate chip pancake Sunday breakfasts, and the flowers when we were home sick from school. But outside of all the specific simple memories, I remember kindness.
My dad is the epitome of kindness. He rarely, if ever, raises his voice at another person...even in a moment where voice raising may be deemed justified. He is incredibly generous, patient and fun. My dad is a wonderful example of so many things, but one thing I truly realized this past SF trip...
He expresses gratitude for life by being present; he lives a full life by being grateful.
Love you, Dad.