Twilight in the Garden
Today is my dad's birthday. He's been gone since 1980; I was only 23 when he died. And it was quite a shock because he went into the hospital for a routine procedure, and died in recovery from a heart attack. So, I never got to say good bye. But I have no regrets, because I am certain that he knew how much I loved him.
My parents were married later in life. My mom was 28 and my dad was 38. And because they had trouble conceiving, it was 10 years later that I came along -- so mom was 38 and dad was 48 -- ancient by the standard of the day. And I was the only little one that arrived - so as an only child, I was the recipient of all of their attentions, and all of their love. Very few little girls are as lucky as I was.
I was the apple of my father's eye. Honestly, I knew he adored me, and I was always his best girl. We went to baseball games together, played skeeball together, flew kites, enjoyed the movies, watched Bonanza and Bewitched together, spent hours on the miniature golf courses, and went to fancy restaurants before I could even hold a fork properly. I wanted to be wherever mom and dad were, and luckily -- they always brought me along - and were happy to do so. I rarely had baby sitters!
My mom lived until she was 83, and she lived with us here in Encino, for almost 15 years. Those were 15 happy years, and so my memories of her are more plentiful, and fresher. Nonetheless, my dad will always loom large in my memory, because I am certain that his unconditional love for me, has made me the person I am today. Happy. Whole. And able to receive and give the kind of love that he bestowed upon me.