Monday, June 22, 2015

Welcome to Summer

dad and his mom early '60s?






Summer of 1973. By this point my parents had been separated for about five years.. There were the usual battles most of which involved his promising to come get us for an outing and not showing.

Mom covered for him as much as she could. And while losing confidence she never failed to ready us for a "dad" day.

Summer of 1973 I was graduating from elementary school. A big deal under regular circumstances made bigger being as I'd skipped a grade and was at least a full year younger than most of the other graduates.

Tickets were limited and given the track record of the previous five years, mom decided dad wouldn't be invited to the ceremony. Following some heated, some hushed conversations, dad announced that there would be a day of celebration, just the two of us.

All decked out in my green and white maxi dress, white pumps with matching handbag, and pearl necklace with matching earrings, I sat on the sofa, nervous that once again, he wouldn't show. Steeling myself for the disappointment.

But, he did show. We had lunch in a fancy restaurant where he ordered me a drink topped with fruit, stabbed with one of those paper umbrellas. After lunch we went to a play and while I've long forgotten what we saw, I remember having kept the playbill for a long time. After the play we went for ice cream sundaes.

I am not prone to hyperbole, but that day . . . best ever.

That day wound up being one of very few that we would share. That day is the one I held close when we were so far apart. The memory of that day helped lead us to an eventual reconciliation and what prompted the letter I wrote to say, good-bye.

Summer of 1973, the standard bearer for all subsequent summers.

Thank you, dad.

#MicroblogMonday

13 comments:

  1. This story is a lovely one. I like to think of you in your maxi dress, so cutting edge fashion of the time, with one of those fruity drinks (I loved those little umbrellas) and going to a play and being the center of attention for your father, which all children deserve to be.

    A lovely memory.

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    1. At least once. ;-) Thank you.

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  2. What a beautiful story - and a nice memory to have.

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    1. It is one of the more pleasant pleasure pockets.

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  3. Such a bittersweet memory, especially this time of year. Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. My pleasure. Thank you for taking the time, making the effort to leave a note.

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  4. While I don't love that he let you down time after time, I love that you have this story and how you told it. Thank you for inviting us into that moment from childhood.

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    1. The letdown messed with me for a long time.

      You're welcome. My pleasure.

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  5. Such a lovely memory, even if it does bring back memories of a harder, wider context. I love seeing snapshots into people's pasts. Maybe I should write some of my own.

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    1. One of the very few pics I have of him--so, treasured.

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  6. Kudos to you that you can focus on that one good day rather than the days of disappointment. Your description of the day made me smile, ear to ear.

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    1. Needed the good parts to wash over me in a great way.

      made me smile, ear to ear. Pleases me. ;-)

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  7. This reminds me of my parents. I treasure my happy memories with my parents too.

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