Dear Dad,

I missed seeing you today. But you’d be glad to know that you were thought of from the moment I rolled out of bed and you’ll be my last thought when I close my eyes.

You always made Father’s Day fun in our family. Oddly enough, when I flipped through my rolodex of memories from this holiday, I kept stopping at the vision of you standing in the kitchen when I arrived for our gathering and asking, ‘So what’d you bring me?‘ You were usually sporting your white socks pulled up over your shins and very pale bird legs, as we called them. And you were grinning. Always grinning. In between dipping a green pepper in Ranch, you would be smiling that goofy smile from ear to ear that I try to emulate, but Greg has told me ‘I wouldn’t recommend doing that in public.‘ You know the one.

At least once during the family cook-out, you would have shuffled your way in for at least two chocolate-chip peanut-butter brownies like only Mom can make, taking the second after saying the first one was small, then saying, ‘Debber Doo…whatcha got going on this next week?

And by the end of the evening, you would have noticed me packing up the kids’ toys and gathering their shoes, only to say ‘You leavin already?’ Funny how getting up early for work now wouldn’t have mattered.

You’ll be glad to know that Michelle made your favorite cheese ball today in your honor, though she didn’t finely chop the onions like you once did, and I hope you heard me when I visited you this evening. I smiled driving out to the cemetery when I saw an older man drinking a beer on his porch alone, and wondered if he was a dad or had gotten a visit from his children.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I sometimes ask myself what I would give for just one more ‘Debber Doo’ or ‘What’d you bring me?’ And the answer is…