This is a story about a man I love deeply. He loves me, too. Calls me his OAO. It's not always great but mostly there's lots of fun and belly-aching laughter. A great deal of love but there's pain, too. He has been so patient with my bitchiness, I with his eccentricities. But we exist because we are who we are.
The story begins many, many, many moons ago, at 2 a.m. on Valentine's Day. The memories we share range from magical to mundane, from makeshift trollies to dirty camp sites and posh hotels. Dinner tables, beat-up cars, James Bond movies, hospital beds, emergency rooms, police stations and dark crowded streets, you name it, we've been there.
He is the smartest of all, so great in the dirty Gates of Hell and wiser in the August halls of any office. He is fierce and bold and brave, braver than the bitch that I am. The safest place in his home is his warm embrace. He can get out of any trouble, be it double murder or a traffic altercation and he can survive anything this crazy world can offer -- it's the best thing I learned from him.
The years have passed and I have seen him age but I know that up to the end, to his very last breath or mine, he will stand by me and with me and I, for him. He will never be able to read this because he doesn't know this space exists but no words are necessary for him to know that he is and will always will be the great man that I know.
Happy Father's Day to my dearest dad. I will greet him on Sunday and as he has done every year without fail since seven years ago, he will give me a kiss and a hug and say, "same to you!" And then we will roll over with laughter.