“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” Jim Valano
My Father was always the first one to launch a phone call on a special occasion, whether it was your birthday, Christmas, Hanukah- whatever it was that you had to celebrate, he was ready to celebrate with you.
I miss him everyday and the Holiday certainly emphasis that truth. I miss the phone call in the morning with his cheery voice and kind hearted warmth illuminating through the phone line. I miss hearing the garage door open knowing he was popping in to say hello.
I miss the enthusiasm of life that my Father shared with everyone. He was vibrant and interested in life and wonderfully intelligent. He was my go to man for advice, intelligence and many of the solutions.
In my youth, I move to Chicago for a few months. It was after college and my boyfriend Hector was moving out there to open a Benetton store on Michigan Avenue. I hated to leave Boston but I was also ready for an adventure. Hector and I had broken up for over a year and had gotten back together after a sad separation. We were ready to start our new life together and I was going to start his new business adventure with him.
On our way to Chicago, we stopped by my parents house to say goodbye. I was so upset and while all was packed and ready to go. I was quite sure that I was mentally not prepared to leave Boston.
As I said goodbye to my parents I started to cry. I had already lived away from home so the tears were clearly a result of my not wanted to move so far away. My parents pulled me aside and told me that I didn’t have to go, I could stay in Boston but I pressed on and moved.
I cried all the way to Pennsylvania and my enthusiasm for moving to Chicago was not readily seen. Poor Hector was thinking that he had ruined my world and was very empathetic.
I lived right on North Lake Shore drive in a fancy building with valet parking. Magic Johnson lived in my building and I would always see his Ferrari- M J Air parked in an exclusive spot in the parking garage. My apartment was in the best area and I had the freedom to explore the city and get a job at my own pace. I was happy to be with Hector, but I simply could not settle into being in Illinois. It was too far from home and I missed Boston.
My happy disposition was increasingly unhappy and my phone calls to my Father were not disguised. I could not hide the truth from him, I missed being close enough to CT that I could drive home and this was compounded on Mother’s Day. There was a gathering at my Aunt’s house in New York and I was unable to attend. I didn’t like it and concluded that living more than a plane-ride away from my family was not going to work for me. Hector and I were arguing quite a bit as a result of my unhappiness. He did everything in his power to make me happy but the setting could not allow for me to be happy.
After three months of living in Chicago, I had a very poignant conversation with my father that was short yet meaningful. He simply said to me, “Michelle, you are not happy- either move back to Boston or stay in Chicago but if you stay, I don’t want to hear one more complaint from you.”
I hung up the phone with him and called my former complex. I arranged to move back into my building and was even able to get my old phone number back. I couldn’t wait to leave and my father made that happen very quickly. I lost my security deposit and two months of rent and had to pay movers again to move me back to Boston. I had to pay another three months of rent in Boston in order to move into my building.
My rent would increase as the only apartment that was available was one of the larger units. It was a very costly event. The worst part of it was delivering the news to Hector. I crushed him with my news and we were both sad that this adventure would not work out in our favor. He was such a gentleman and helped me pack up and drove me back to my favorite city. He knew that my heart could not be happy so far away from home.
Thankfully to this day, we are the best of friends and for that I am grateful.
I remain forever grateful to my Father. He fixed everything and he was such a strong and happy person. He had the answers that I sought and he spoiled me with his love, in the most wonderful way. It’s made his passing much more difficult. I was his only daughter and I looked to him for guidance and it was always there.
He didn’t agree with all of my decisions and he always expressed himself. He did however respect whatever my decisions were. He let me make them and accepted whatever they were.
I had many serious conversations about choices that I had made in which he would have chosen differently for me. He was not a controlling person and I loved that about him. He accepted the fact that I was a little different than my brothers and in fact celebrated the many ways in which I was like himself.
I miss him and the multitude of ways in which he enriched my life and my soul. I miss the manner in which he embraced and accepted who I was as an individual.
At times, I don’t know what to do with this emotion as it simply makes me sad so I just sit with it. Losing my Father has been one of the most profound occurrences in my life. Time doesn’t help, it simply makes me miss him more.
He was the best Father that anyone could dream of having and Im forever grateful that the blessing was mine. xo