Some memories of my dad

Published Jan 03 2021

Today’s my dad’s birthday! He would turn 82 if he were still alive. I wanted to write down some things about him that I don’t want to forget.

One time before I was born (guessing like, the 70s), my dad was riding the subway. He fell asleep while sitting down on the train seat, and when he woke up someone had stolen his glasses off his face and taken a knife to his pants pocket to cut his wallet out. I’d heard about the glasses so many times growing up, but only in the last few years did I also hear about the pocket-cutting.

In 2016, I took my dad, my mom, and Kevin to a Yankee game to celebrate his 50-year anniversary of living in New York. I managed to get us good season ticketholder seats that had access to some nice amenities — we got garlic fries served in a plastic upside down baseball cap. It just so happened that at the game, there was also a 20-year anniversary celebration of the ’96 World Series win, so many of the starting lineup from that team went onto the field. It was a really sunny day. Super hot. The Yankees won that game, that was cool.

One time, Kevin asked my dad what it’s like being retired. He responded, “Every day is Sunday.”

My dad had really awesome hair. It was thick, and graying, and it had a little bit of a wave if he grew it out long enough. He didn’t like his hair long though, and he would always shave it down himself with a pair of clippers (much to my mom’s exasperation).

The first time I saw my parents kiss was when my dad was in the ICU. My dad was still conscious but very weak, and my mom was distressed — I think we might have just talked about the possibility of him not making it out of the hospital (or if he did, he might not be conscious). He motioned to my mom in a way that I didn’t understand, some kind of beckoning, and my mom leaned in and kissed him on the cheek. I was so shocked that I didn’t have time to feel any positive feelings in that moment, which is both sad and funny to reflect on. Otherwise, I can probably count the times I’ve seen my parents be affectionate on one hand (I don’t feel any bad feelings about this! I don’t think we’re a very affectionate family to begin with).

My parents went on walks in Central Park all the time. I think they had a path they always took together, and one time I joined them on this walk. After coming out the south end of the Conservatory Garden, my dad went off-path and up a hill. I remember being surprised at how surely he turned off the road, like he’d done it dozens if not hundreds of times before.

My dad wrote in big sweepy all-caps, with the strokes extending beyond the rules, almost like brush strokes. I honestly never thought about the brush stroke association until now.

Maybe some more to come.