Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Thoughts on Fathers and Daughters Today

Time again for my annual Father's Day Shout out. This year, it's a tale of three fathers. 

Twenty years ago my life changed forever when I worked up the courage to tell my own dad about how bad the situation had gotten with my mom. My dad was the first person to make me think that what I had to say was important-- even when it wasn't life or death. He never rushed me. He's never been bored or ever encouraged me to get to the point. He's talked me down from every ledge, through every problem of logic or of the heart. He's been so steadfastly on my team for whatever ridiculous goal I've ever had, even to this day, it scares me that in my life, I have at least one person I cannot lose. Because of this, he's the person I care most about making proud of me. 

Which is not say he's just a prop for my life. He's one of most talented, weird, cool people to ever live. In truth, I basically just hope he's as proud of me as I am of him. I  never used to think our personalities were the same, but the older I get, the more I'm seeing how similar at least our artistic temperaments are. 

Ten years ago, my life changed again when I lost another temperamental soul mate of mine, and a great glue of our family: my grandfather. I can't believe it's been ten years without him. The thought of it knocks the wind out me. I still recall so so vividly how far away, how lost at sea I felt when he died and I was in Japan. It still feels vert present, the memory of scribbling furiously my multi-multi page letter to him, when I knew the end was near. How the letter arrived just in time for Father's Day. How he was gone the next week. The traces of him are harder to find since I've moved to the UK, though I still run into him in thoughts that are not my own, but clearly the opinion of James A. Ferguson, just using me as a conduit. 

Seven years ago, I met another father who continues to blow me away. I know I focus a lot of my love on Aly, but I think it's important that I recognize the other half of one of my all-time favorite couples: Dion. In my own generation, he's the father I'm most inspired by. His daughter Hayley was born just in time for his 18th birthday. At at 18, this guy just went to it, putting his kid first in every way possible. I'm in awe of the way he talks to Hayley-- the way he strikes a balance between support and discipline-- (he allows no bargaining. It blew my mind) and what a wonderful young lady Hayley is turning out to be. It warms my heart that he was able to turn his devotion to supporting his daughter into amazing business skills, and then to get the eff out of Lehman Bros just in time, to start an amazing business with Aly, and (just like seeing my dad be able to realize his musical dreams makes me happy) finally make himself into the music artist he always wanted to be. You are truly, unequivocally, without a doubt one of the good guys, Dion. I feel blessed to know you. And comforted knowing you're gonna look after my friend Aly for the rest of your lives. I can't wait to celebrate with you both this August. And I'm celebrating with you and your song today. 

Keep being awesome out there fathers. And I will line up every year to gush. Shower. The. People

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