He’s never judges me, nor tried to sway my perception or my choices as I creatively maneuver through life. He loves me unconditionally, madly and endlessly—“his lil girl.”
I’m referring to the greatest love of my life: my father, Tom—aka Daddy, Daddio, Tommy, Auggie, Smitty, among other nicknames.
Besides our striking physical resemblance and the “gift of gab,” we share many of the same passions, including good music, nature, heartbreaking sports affiliations, inspired cooking and a fervor to celebrate life among lively individuals.
Whenever I think of “home,” his house and garden in the woods of Northeast Ohio is where I’m most at ease—a large, modestly decorated “bachelor’s estate” garnished with barrels of laughs and homemade vino, with card games, song and music trivia filling visits, all while the “game” is on down by the brick fireplace. My remarkable brothers, friends and family cultivate lasting memories here, and I thank him for keeping the humble abode alive through it all. “Home is where the heart is,” and mine’s well-fed on Whittier Street.
I’m proud to carry on his love for classic rock and blues. Hidden within his beloved mother’s attic were, and still are, treasures unrevealed. One of 10 offspring with stellar taste, my dad handed me a stale cardboard box of vinyl and smiled. “Have fun, baby. And, don’t bend the Clapton. My sister will kill me!”
Fortunately, I’m able to appreciate wonders of decades past, along with gems of my time. Here on Maui—“The Isle of Low-Key Legends”—there lies a plethora of incredible musicians/songwriters making quality originals, which I’ll continue to advocate. I dream when retirement day arrives, Daddy seeks a part-time plan in paradise. I would be honored to share more of my other “home.”
He’s taught me to be honest and courageous, yet considerate, help your friends, work hard and that joy always trumps financial and social stature. I embody these lessons, and foresee monetary success while pursuing my dreams. Hey, it could happen…
Besides “answering my dang phone” more, I strive to make my father proud by maintaining my strength, intellect, compassion, gratitude for goodness and a fierce intensity to never give up, as well as celebrate loved ones and appreciate the “good stuff.”
Daddy—you’re the “good stuff.” Today and every day, I celebrate you.