For the first 29 years of my life, my dad and I pretty much talked about the same 4 things; the volatile Chicago weather, updates on our family’s dogs, important dates like December 7th, 1941 and the latest charges on the Visa bill.
Then he would hand the phone over to my mom so we could talk and talk for hours while I sat stuck in LA traffic. My mom was my best friend and I shared everything with her. I still miss her every day.
After my mom passed away 9 yrs ago, something shifted in my weekly calls with my dad… see in the past when he’d be eager to hand me off to mom, he now lingered… My dad started asking me about work and my husband, giving me updates on my older siblings and their families. We started discussing current affairs, elections, marriage and eventually parenthood. He was there for B’s delivery and open heart surgery. I’d often ask my dad for advice when it came to the challenges of parenting.
Years passed and so did some devastating losses in my life, I started questioning my faith in God… something that was the foundation to his 54yr marriage and being a father of 12 kids. The man still to this day goes to church every morning, says the rosary and gets on his knees to pray every night. Our talks now have depth as we reflect on life, faith and unconditional love.
Now, I’m not sure if my mom told him before she died that he needed to now be there for me more or if he just knew… regardless, I am forever grateful for our time spent together.
Here’s this man who doesn’t fear death because his faith is rock solid like his hugs. A man so happy and content in life because he raised his kids to be hard-working, to always stay humble and to take the shirt off your own back if someone needed it. I do not take a day for granted that this incredible man is here with us… I often say that he was ready to go the day his high school sweetheart passed and if there was room in my mom’s coffin, he would have jumped right in with her. I feel like he’s here on borrowed time because us kids are not quite ready to be without our dad. Proving that no matter the age, you always need your mom and Dad❤
Happy Father’s Day Dad!
p.s. For the record, Dad and I still talk weather, dogs and important dates (I call him every December 7th) but I’m happy to say, I pay my own Visa bills these days?
Lucy Riles, Life of Mom Founder