In my second Blog Post ever, I wrote about my dad. It was called, My Cheap Dad, and yes, my dad actually loves it! Since then, he's told me that his students have found that post and mentioned it to him. (Since my dad retired from his job as an Engineer at IBM, General Dynamics, Boeing, and other places, he's been teaching at various colleges.) I saw my dad yesterday, for a Father's Day lunch.
We went to Din Tai Fung, a Taiwanese restaurant that mostly serves dumplings. However, he's eating a big bowl of Beef Noodle Soup, which is also a very Taiwanese dish. We also ordered lots of veggies, which I don't think he had any.
Yesterday, I asked my dad what he liked to do for fun, as a kid. He said he liked to go swimming and to the movies, but mainly the movies. He didn't always have the money to go to a movie, so he snuck in the back door, whenever someone took out the trash. Then, he would hide in the restroom until the show was about to start. (My mom says she snuck in too, but she would just pretend to be other people's kids. She would find a couple that didn't have kids and walk next to them, as closely as possible.)
Yesterday, my family got some sad news. My cousin in Taiwan told me, his dad just passed away that afternoon. I didn't know his dad very well because they had always lived in Taiwan, but I started to think about how life is very short to hold onto any imperfections in a relationship. No relationship is perfect because we are all not perfect. My relationship with my dad has had its ups and downs, especially when I was a teenager and in my 20's. However, I know that he's done only what he knows how to do, and we have a good relationship now. We can actually laugh at most of our imperfections.
I've also had men in my life that have felt like father figures, and I would like to honor them, as well...
First, one of my heroes -- my grandfather, who passed away when I was 16. He was so loving, funny, and charming. He loved to tell stories and talk to people. He was wise but humble. Serious when he needed to be and fun when he wanted to be. He was also loyal, kind and a protector. Check out the photo above, with his hand on my cheek. I remembered him tickling me with his facial hair whenever he hugged and kissed me, as a kid.
Above is a very serious photo of the beloved NYU Journalism Professor, Mike Ludlum. Any student was so fortunate to be taught by him. He taught from genuine passion and compassion. He taught all of his students teamwork, not competition. He also taught us that life was way more than just work. Whenever I called him for advice, he would always ask, "Are you happy?" and then, "Will this make you happier?" He always reminded me that life is about family, friends and love.
Finally, I'd like to honor my father-in-law. In the last 7 years since I've been married, I've seen him lose the love of his life to cancer. It hasn't been easy, but with the help of his kids and his dog Bo, he's singing again in two groups...a men's Barbershop Chorus, called the Big Chief Chorus and a coed group. He's a great storyteller, affectionate, generous and funny!
So interesting that all of the "father figures" I admire are great storytellers! I hope to be too, I guess. Happy Father's Day to all of you who are fathers! For those of you who have lost fathers, I'm sending you so much love today, and for those of you who never knew your biological father but have other "father figures" in your life, count your blessings. I'd also like to send a lot of admiration to all of the men who try their best everyday to be good fathers. That awareness and just the desire and intention to be a good father makes you steps ahead! Happy Father's Day to you!
With so much Love and Gratitude,
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