Today, I celebrate two anniversaries. The anniversaries of the two men who had the most influence on the woman I am today. Fate sometimes is cruel in the games it plays. Like dates. Like July 20th. The anniversary of my husband's birth, and my father's death. Two men, one date.
It has been five years since they became ever linked on this date. In some ways it seems like a lifetime ago and others like just yesterday. I am eternally jealous that they shared that last morning together. I was not so lucky, but that is not my story of the day. A few paragraphs and a lifetime of therapy probably can't fix that. But I am here today and today I shall attempt to honor them both. For without them I would not be me.
My father and my husband at first glance could not have been more different. Sean was my attempt at rebellion. Oh how that backfired! His long hair, torn jeans with "his ass hanging out", as my Dad used to say, riding a skateboard listening to "crap" on that too loud stereo. He was just the ticket to drive my family nuts. But oh how Sean with his no nonsense Irish charm won him right over.
Over the years Sean became the son my dad never had. Dad took a boy who couldn't locate a dip stick to someone who can rebuild his own car engine. He cultivated his love for motorcycles, tinkering and unfinished projects. Endless hours of treasure hunting in a shop filled to the brim. We now have a garage Dad would be proud of.
Sean taught Dad to loosen up a little. To appreciate good beer and to let your daughter try some stuff maybe you didn't think she could or would do. He taught him to see that there was more than one way to build a deck or fix a clock and that it didn't have to take an hour to cook a steak. Dad learned to get off the lawn mower and go for a quad ride.
Yes, the men in my life learned from each other and I too learned from them. So on this anniversary I bring you the top 5 list of things that show me that I get them both every day.
5. Have you checked your oil?
Every time I hear that I know Dad taught and Sean learned. I heard it weekly from the time I turned 16. It never sunk in for me. Good thing Sean was listening.
4. Practical Purchases.
I want a bike rack for the car. I've been wanting one for weeks. Sean does the research, knows the details of what we really need and finally makes a decision. All major purchases go like this.
3. It's all in the little things.
I've been listening to my itunes through my computer. No speakers, it sounds terrible. Yesterday Sean came home with a set of tiny speakers. I didn't ask. When I lost my shuffle he waited two weeks then came home with a shuffle. He always stops at Starbucks after a hard workout to buy me a skinny latte. Dad used to stop by unannounced and clean my furnace filter. I grew up watching him do beautiful little things for my mom. These are damn fine men.
2. Sense of Humor.
My father and I share the same sick adolescent boy sense of humor. Nothing is funnier than watching someone fall down or otherwise embarrass themselves in some way. Dad and I wore out a VCR tape once of a lady getting hit in the face by a door. I literally lose it laughing my ass off. I also have a lightening fast quick wit usually sarcasm based. That's not vanity speaking, it's 100% truth and my best quality. It came from my father. Sean gets that. He laughs at my jokes and he DVRs "Wipeout" for me. Sean doesn't get embarrassed by my humor, he encourages it.
1. Taco Bell
Every year on Father's Day after spending the day with Sean's Dad, Sean drives me through Taco Bell. What more is there to say?
Happy Birthday Sean. Thanks for keeping Dad in our hearts and in our lives. Thanks for sharing your day every year with such grace.
Cheers Dad. I love you and miss you everyday. And I hope with all my heart that I make you proud.
I think I'll go check my oil.