Today has been an emotional day. It’s Father’s Day, and I am so grateful for my 77-year old dad — still on this earth and right nearby — and my amazing husband, who is an outstanding parent and role model for our children.
At our church’s annual Dads and Grads celebration, we honored two young people who are graduating from high school on Tuesday. It was so beautiful and moving to see them standing up in front of the congregation as young adults, as we relived all the beautiful memories of them through the years. During the celebration, my mind wandered to the day that (God willing) my own children will stand up there, and I felt excited and sad and terrified all at once.
It was in that weepy and nostalgic state of mind that I stumbled upon –in the process of updating a few links — this post from seven years ago.
Eastbound 14 (et al) stop, 5th & Jackson
A 60-ish, somewhat disheveled man approaches and addresses me in several languages (Amharic, Spanish, Italian) trying to figure out which I speak. We finally settle on a mix of French and English, and (thanks to my growing belly) immediately start talking parenthood. He tells me I remind him of his daughter, who was recently married. “It was in the New York Times,” he says, fishing a crumpled piece of newsprint out of his wallet.
He points to some text under the photo of the handsome, smiling couple, the part that tells about the bride’s family in Seattle, then pulls out his license to show me that his name matches the name of the father listed in the announcement.
“See? That’s me,” he says. “Me.”
We talk for a few minutes longer, about Chicklet, and my due date, and how I am feeling.
Abruptly, he pulls a wilted, slightly blackened red rose from his coat pocket, thrusts it into my hand, and prepares to leave.
“Take care of the babies,” he says, smiling. “Take care of your precious babies.”
His eyes are filled with tears.
Happy Father’s Day, sir. I haven’t forgotten your advice.