Remembering My Father

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As we are growing up, our fathers teach us many things and give us the love of their hearts. On Father’s Day we remember them and thank them for all the ways they have made us who we are today.

On summer evenings after supper, my father would play catch with me in the backyard. He also gave me his interest in baseball and taught me how to read the team standings in the Daily News—especially of my beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. 

I loved working with my father in the yard and enjoyed painting the trellis where the sweet peas would grow come summer. When I was older, he taught me so many things like how to check the oil, the radiator, and the tires of our car. But, of all the things he taught or gave me, his love of flowers and gardens was the most treasured. 

We had a tiny yard, but it was always filled with the colors of beautiful flowers. Most of our annuals we grew from seed, and with him I watched the miracle of a seed coming to life. To this day, the pungent smell of marigolds on my fingers brings me back to my childhood days.

I loved the daffodils he planted along the chain link fence the neighbor put up, and I loved the lavender irises we took to the cemetery on Memorial Day.

He loved driving the big Cadillacs he drove as a chauffeur, but sadly, he never had a new car of his own. That’s why he spent so much time teaching me how to take care of our older cars.

When he died, he was buried in a part of the cemetery where you could hear the traffic of the NY Thruway whizzing by. Everyone said he would have loved this spot. 

Take time this Father’s Day to thank your father for all he has given you to enrich your life.

—Bernadette R. Gentry