As homage to our fathers and the role they have played in our lives, only fitting that Barclay and I write a tribute to Ben, (my father) and Champe (Barclay’s father).
Ben, full name Benjamin, known as “Budy” (Buwdy not Buddy) by family and friends, was a character! I have never met nor will I probably ever meet a person quite like my father. He was my Jewish mother! He worried about me from the day I was born. He went around the house tightening medicine bottles so they couldn’t be opened by my little fingers, worried that I was going to fall out the window of our ground floor apt, (with bars on it!!), that I would ingest rat poison or be kidnapped by an intruder!
We had a radio on a shelf in the kitchen when I was growing up that had a long cord dangling from it. One day, in my infinite two year old wisdom, I pulled the cord down with the radio tumbling hitting my lip and causing a profuse amount of bleeding to ensue. I was taken to the emergency room of the nearby hospital and after a bunch of stiches left with a permanent scar on my upper lip. (much later lasered by a dermatologist) After that incident, my very obsessive father became even worse, if that was possible, and hovered over my every move. It is a wonder I grew up half way sane! (I did say half way!)
Ben loved me dearly and I always knew that. He was a wonderful father and I always knew I could count on him for anything and everything. Nothing was a bother, nothing was silly or pointless when it came to me. (looking for monsters under my bed or in this case burglars. (Upper West Side in the 60’s, not the UWS of today!) I was blessed to have this person in my life until he was 88 years old and I still smile when I think about him.
His image brings a tear of longing and a flood of memories to mind. I am the person I am today mostly because of him. I have, unfortunately passed on traits of worry, anxiety, and obsession to both daughters. He also passed on traits of extreme loyalty, kindness towards others, and generosity. Ben, Happy Father’s Day to you. I know you hear me!
David is a wonderful father and I toast to you too sweetheart for now and many years to come. Without you, there would be no Morgan nor Dana!
“You’re my favorite daughter!” Dad loved to say.
“But, Dad, I’m your only daughter!”
I received unconditional love from my father. Even through my eating disorder days and wild weight fluctuations, he told me I was beautiful. He also taught me tennis, dancing, and reading. He was the car pool dad who made Dairy Queen stopovers. He was a gentleman to his core. And in the words of my half-brother in dad’s eulogy, “He was just plain nice.”
Champe was 46 when I was born and had seen a lot of life. He had endured a painful divorce and had lost a son to leukemia. He had weathered a difficult relationship with his own father who reportedly made poor financial choices and may have been alcoholic. Champe, the only child, left home at 16, having caught the flying bug. He went on to be the youngest airmail pilot in the US.
He retired from Pan American when I was 10. So I had the benefit of his “mellow” days when he relished life and was devoted to Charlie, me, and mom whom he patted on the butt in front of us, stole kisses, and exclaimed, “Isn’t she beautiful?”
Brett is every bit a Champe. A true gentleman, a great storyteller, wise, winsome, humble, full of integrity, and just plain nice. He has relished his dad role, even though such a role was not modeled for him. I am in awe.
Champe is smiling now, probably swatting my mom on the butt, licking a Dairy Queen chocolate cone, and looking down on Brett, saying “Well done, son!”
Happy Fathers Day to Champe and Brett!
Today’s Takeaway –
. Cherish this person called father for they will not be around forever. Try to be understanding as they age, treasure their memory forever. They, just like your mother made you the person you are today.
Enjoy the ride!
xox Barclay and Joy