It’s not Father’s Day, or his birthday. It’s just so clear to me, as a mama, as a single mama, as an only daughter, and the child not of a certain politician from Maine, that my dad continues to be someone who shows up for me in subtle, and loud ways.
This week he sent me at least twenty emails encouraging me to post/submit my Lepage letter (which has garnered over 800 views to the blog in four days) as well as several line edits and suggestions. He rewrote a new version of it for the newspaper, which I didn’t send, but that I learned from. (I did send a shorter version of my own, but to no avail, yet.) He also responded to a poem I wrote, in a self reflective manner that rendered me all little inside. The “Oh he completely got it,” feeling the poet and the daughter craves.
He marched with Dr. King, as a young family man from Maine, who was now a Harvard Law graduate. A moment I grew up hearing about, with awe, and admiration. In his own words;
I took part in MLK’s “March on Washington” and listened as he made his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. A group of us from the law firm marched along the mall to the reflecting pool. I carried a sign that I made with the words “To Live in Dignity.” I think the sign I carried that day sums up what I believe, that every one of us is entitled to live in dignity, to be treated with respect and love, and that we are all obligated to do our part to bring that about. To that end I took part in the efforts in the 1950’s and 1960’s to gain home rule for the District of Columbia. I am not sure when I first came to realize what a huge debt white Americans owed to black Americans, but certainly [I have had several] important mentors. Love, lots, Dad
Later he screamed his lungs out at my soccer games calling me by a nick name I abhorred: Put. Yes. He called me Put. From the song, “Katie put pie, high in the sky.” Only from the sidelines it was; “Go Put! Put it in the goal!’
He instilled in me a love of using my words for something good. If a thank you post to you doesn’t meet that bill Dad, what does?