Father’s Daughters

“There’s something like a line of gold thread running through a man’s words when he talks to his daughter, and gradually over the years it gets to be long enough for you to pick up in your hands and weave into a cloth that feels like love itself”.  ~John Gregory Brown

And then he is gone, but you remain with that cloth wrapped around you as if your life depended on it.  And, in a way, it does.

That cloth has been woven with words, and examples and smells and lessons and rides in the car and gas tanks filled on a Saturday morning and wintergreen lifesavers and bikes saved from the junk heap and badminton games in the street and toasts and peaches in frosted flakes and cartoons and the Mets.

Add to that, the knowledge of screws vs. nails, how to read a dip stick, when to change the furnace filter, how to add quickly in your head, integrity as your first line of defense and a work ethic that really is beyond reproach and you’ve got texture in your cloth.

Father’s daughters will forever be in debt for that love, the lessons, and the information that can only be gleaned from a generous man who understood that to make your way in the world you would need more than pink.

When that father is gone, rituals will take his place.  Mine is to have a four hour conversation with him as I make my way to the Cape.  We’ll catch up on the latest, the greatest, the worst, the tears, the memories, the screw ups, and the triumphs.  Just before the smell in the air turns to salt and cedar you can almost believe that it smells just like Old Spice.   

I wish you a wonderful Father’s Day whether it’s in his arms or in his legacy.


Someone asked me today if they should send a thank you for an interview they had recently.  The interview brought a smile to their face when they told me it was one of the best interviews they ever had. But…they didn’t want to seem over the top.  My initial reaction was that you should never hesitate to say thank you.  If you’re grateful then you should show it.  The old cliché of what goes out will come back to you tenfold remains true.

But all this talk of gratitude; what does it feel like?

  • The smile that comes to your face when you walk in your door.
  • The smile that comes to your face when tears come to your sister’s eyes after she discovers you’ve cleaned her house while she was at work.  Even if she’s threatening to take away your key……not.
  • The smile that comes to your face at the dogs running from one end of your apartment to the other when you get home from work.
  • The smile that comes to your face every time you realize (over and over) that you’re fulfilling your dear friend’s dying request.
  • The smile that comes to your face when spring brings perennial blooms.  The perennials that were sent by friends when you put out the “can ya help a gardener” email.
  • The smile that comes to your face when your best friend loves your idea for her website’s tag line.
  • The smile that comes to your face when you cross the Sagimore Bridge on to the Cape.
  • The smile that comes to your face when you find an Adirondack chair outside the dumpster that only needs a few screws and some paint to make it fabulous.
  • The smile that comes to your face when every single unexpected thank you that you deliver is met with a thank you back.  Best one was the “thank you for doing a wonderful job on my porch” and the  coffee I offered to the mason fixing my front porch who got a pretty good beating from me the day before for stomping my flowers.  A stuttering thank you is especially endearing.

The point is that anything that brings a smile to your face can be considered a thing of gratitude.  You don’t have to say it out loud you just have to feel that smile spread across your face changing your whole demeanor and bringing you to that place of knowing you’re grateful.  Gratitude is heartwarming, fulfilling and contagious.  The more gratitude you have the more you will find to be grateful for.  I know like I know that I am thankful every day for the life I now lead, it truly brings a smile to my face.