Sunday, June 18, 2017


Happy Father’s Day to Hilda

Today I write a letter to the mother of my father, my dear beloved grandmother, Hilda. It’s because of her that I was blessed with the most wonderful father I could ever have imagined.

Dear Grandma:

First, on this Father’s Day, eight years after losing your beloved son, I want to thank you for giving him to me. He was my first and best male gift before I found the love of my life to whom I have been married for almost 24 years. Why am I thanking you instead of him? Because you raised him with the values which he impressed on me and which ground me and keep me whole.

Secondly, I want to tell you how what your son taught me has resonated even into my 70s. Your son was loyal, loving, hard-working, ambitious, talented, humble, successful, funny and extremely creative. Thanks to you, through him, I am all those things. Up until a few months before he died, he was still acting silly and still harmonizing with me to our favorite father/daughter songs, “Until We Meet Again” and “Now Is The Hour.” At the “home,” we were having cookies together. They were tiny gingerbread cookies, the size of a saltine. We were both laughing at how small they were, but he was breaking them apart and putting them together the wrong way on purpose. We both laughed and inhaled those gingerbread men. I’m not sure he even knew what he was doing then, but he was my silly Dad, and I loved him so.

Finally, I thank you for the greatest gift you gave him, your daughter, my wonderful surrogate- Mom aunt and me. You taught us to listen and be interested, genuinely interested in others. You were always there to listen to me, as was Aunt Dorothy and, of course, Daddy. They were active listeners; they asked questioned, responded to the answers and listened some more. This is a dying art these days when people talk more and listen less. I am grateful you taught this to all of us, and it came naturally for you.

I miss you still after the almost 50 years since you’ve been gone, dear Grandma, and, of course, I miss Daddy whose spirit and silly still puts a smile and a determined grin on my face daily. 

Happy Father’s Day, Grandma.