|dad and his mom early '60s?|
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.