chantal stone photography: the blog

May 14, 2006

May 14, 2006…Honoring My Mother; Remembering My Father

Filed under: News — chantal @ 10:16 am

Today is Mother’s Day, and I plan to honor my mother, just like everyone else. We’re going to go to church, then afterwards, she’s having dinner here at my house, with me, my husband and children, and my in-laws, as well. (Hubby and I were smart, we get both mothers taken care of at once.)

I will tell my mother I love her, and how much she means to me. We’ll laugh and smile, and enjoy the afternoon together.

My children already gave me my Mother’s Day gift this morning. They made me breakfast in bed-the perfect cup of coffee (who knew my 10yr old was such a great barista?!), toast, dry cereal and a cup of fruit cocktail. Then they let me sleep for an extra hour. What great kids.

But underneath all of this apparent happiness and joy, lies tiny stream of sadness.

Today is my father’s 86th birthday. He passed away in 2000.

Every few years Mother’s Day will fall on the 14th. I remember when I was a kid, how convenient it seemed to be because we would all go over to my grandmother’s house, and celebrate Mother’s Day and my Dad’s birthday all together. Those were special times, I remember since it was a “double holiday”, more extended family members would attend. My grandmother always made my father’s favorite caramel cake, using a recipe I have yet to be able to replicate.

My father was an interesting and amazing man. He led a long and full life, and did more in his 80 years than four men put together. He lived through the depression, went to seminary school in Florida and studied architecture in NYC. He fought in World War II, the Korean War, and later retired from the US Army after 26 years of service. He was a private investigator, then became a self-taught heating and cooling expert. He went back to school and earned his degree to teach heating and cooling at a vocational high school, from which he retired in 1990 at the age of 70.

He was intelligent and articulate, opinionated and sarcastic, witty and charming, altogether. He left a great impression on the community in which he lived, and I know he is still greatly missed. But today, as I sit here with my coffee made by my 10yr old son, I’m remembering the tender times he shared with me. The old movies we watched together; the discussions about politics and religion; the long drives we took through the country, often not saying much to each other, but even as a child, I knew those were cherished moments.

The main lesson I learned from my father was to grab life by the balls and live it to its fullest. He worked hard, played hard, all with grace and integrity. I try to do the same thing, and I think if I make one quarter the impression he made in his lifetime, I know I will have done well.

Happy Birthday, Dad.

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