Sunday, June 16, 2013

For the Record...

For  the record, and for all the world (well, my facebook world, anyway) I want it to be known that I love my dad. I may not tell him as often as I should, but I want him to know it, and that I love that I have lovely memories of growing up with him. For some reason, I was never allowed to call him Dad or Daddy, but that's O.K. I call him Tay or Tatay, which means dad or daddy.

I love that when I was a little girl, Tay would take my sister and me to play hide and seek among the trees at the golf course on Sundays. I love how he could never find my sister Dee or me whenever he was the seeker. I love that Tay would sing us kids to sleep with “O Danny Boy” and “My Grandfather’s Clock”. I loved that he would whistle "Yankee Doodle" to signal that he was home, and to this day, whistling Yankee Doodle gives me a feeling of warmth and comfort. I love that because of Tay's whistling, my own family developed our own family whistle: the Jim Hammer variation of Yankee Doodle. My children could be spread out throughout a church sanctuary or a basketball court, or Costco, and one of us whistle our tune, and the kids would stop what they were doing or saying to find the source of the whistle. They respond to "The Whistle" to this day.

 I love that I grew up in a household full of people, related or not. If you were a cousin of the wife of the vegetable lady at the market, and you were in town for a couple of days and needed a place to stay and you knew my dad’s name, you were welcome to stay with us and sleep wherever you found space in the house. I love that Tay invited strangers to stay with us...indefinitely. One time, we even had an entire family of Hookers live with us -- five of them. No, seriously. HOOKER was their last name. I love that my children grew up in a home that also welcomed strangers, only they didn't stay strangers for long.

I love that Saturdays meant bank day – we would get our allowances -- prorated by age, with a 25-cent difference between us by birth order (but you got a 25-cent raise every year, so that we all got a set amount at 10 years old, at 11, et cetera) – on Saturday morning after my dad paid the bills, and then we would all head over to the bank to make deposits, then to “Uncle Mike’s” to spend. I love how my dad always made us save some, spend some, and give some away.

I love that Tatay taught me to love words and how to use them effectively. I love how he made up codes based upon our experiences. For example, one Christmas season in Guam, he took the family to go shopping at Town House. While the rest of us shopped, he and my younger sister Jean got bored, so he took her to get some ice cream. From that time, whenever he would say, "Let's go get bored," it meant let's go get ice cream. Another time, while driving at night around Oxnard, we got lost and ended up on Hemlock Road, where there was a Foster's Donuts. From then on, "Let's go get lost" meant let's go get donuts. I love that inasmuch as he taught me to love words, he taught me to me to love The Word even more.

I love that Tay fought with my mom in front of us kids, and I love that they also made up in front of us. I love that he smooched with my mom in front of us, to our disgust, and I love that Jim and I smooch in front of OUR kids, to their disgust.

I love that Tatay isn't perfect. I grew from his triumphs and learned from his mistakes. I love that he's weathered storms, survived crises, endured hardships. I love that bullets whizzed by him as he crossed a bridge in WWII, just before it blew up, and that a terrorist's gun jammed just as he pointed it at Tay and pulled the trigger.

I  love that after fifty some years, my dad still flirts with my mom.

 Happy Father's Day, Tay. I love you . For the record.

1 comment:

  1. Naiyak naman ako,pinsan.Miss my Dad so much.Such a beautiful tribute to your father and our Father in heaven.


Please make my day by leaving me a comment. It's always nice to know when someone's been by...