My Dad, My Hero.

16 06 2013


There are three stages in my life I recall.  “My dad is stronger than your dad.”   “Dad, you know nothing” and  “ My father says…….”  This Fathers Day I told my dad to go to his door and check if he received a package from me.  I live in Philadelphia and my parents live in Florida. Hoping he wouldn’t have a heart attack my daughters and I said “f”.  A little shakin’ and confused my daddy shed some tears.  “Better than a card?” I said to the “Worlds Greatest Dad”. With a hug he said “Of course” but why did you spend the money. That’s my dad.

Growing up I had the type of dad that always put his kids first. If it meant three jobs, he had three jobs. My favorite was as a Good Humor Ice Cream Man. If something broke he’d fixed it with duct tape. If mom said no he said yes. We didn’t grow up rich in money but boy did dad make sure we enjoyed life. While our modest row home in Philly seemed huge to me at the time I never really thought it was odd nor understood expenses such as going skiing on the weekends or taking a trip to Spain in 7th grade. Fancy cars and a big house were less important… we need to find snow on the east coast on the weekends and if it meant driving 6 hours to Vermont for the day we did. Laced up ski boots, wooden poles, hand me down ski pants and mismatched gloves awesome. Driving to Florida with no iPod or video fighting with my sister was divine.   Running to the bowling alley to tell my dad  it’s dinner time seemed normal.  Driving in a golf cart was cool. When people ask me do you play golf I say yes and kickball, handball, half-ball and shuffle board. Mt dad has made sure I learned everything.   I truly was blessed to grow up with the best dad. You know the one who knows everything and if he didn’t he was the best at pretending he did. Still does. lol

As a single mom today I know this day is hard for some. We take on the role of both mom and dad. I kill the bugs when the girls scream. I fix the closet door that falls off the hinges. I check the air in tires and the oil in my kids car. I sing at birthday’s extra loud and clap extra hard at graduations. In a perfect world it would be nice if all kids could grow up with two loving parents. But we do not live in a perfect world and parents are not perfect. I have made my mistakes and I myself am still learning from them. My daughter often ask’s “Who is going to walk me down the aisle one day?”  I tell her that I will hold her hand that day and everyday for life.

As a little girl I wanted to mary a man like my father. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.  I know this is said often  “Any fool can make a baby but it takes a man to raise a child”  No it should say  “Anyone” can make a baby but it takes a great person or people to raise a child.   Your either willing to take hold of that little hand forever or you’re not. This is a full-time job and anyone who thinks it’s not should be fired.

My entire life one thing I heard constantly…..”You’re Morty’s daughter? Your father is the best. I love your father.” I honestly thought every woman who said this to me was having an affair with my dad.  Why not? He looked like a cross between Hal Linden from Barney Miller and Tom Selleck in his leisure suits.  My father talked to everyone.  I inherited this from him. The gift of gab.  Thanks dad for being the one loyal listener I had when I was an overnight DJ on a New Jersey radio station in the 80’s. “ I like that Egyptian song you play.”  My mom “He keeps that radio on all night so he knows you’re at work.”  I still laugh out loud when I hear “Walk like an Egyptian from the Bangles”  I would sometimes announce “ This is Hope of WPST sending this next one out to my dad who I know is up listening.

I don’t remember the last time I woke up in the same house on Father’s Day with my dad.  I do know with his recent heart issues and the doctor saying it’s significantly much weaker,  that I needed to fly to Florida to hold my dads hand on this Father’s Day.  The man who taught me how to ride a bike, the man who stayed up and yelled at 3‘o’clock in the morning when I came home “Hope, is that you?” “ The man who tells me the same stories over and over and  still thinks I like tomatoes, which I hate.  “You like ketchup, what do you mean you don’t like tomatoes?” The grey hair man who still brags about me, who still worries about me and who still holds my hand.  I will never understand any parent who let’s go of that hand. I’m sorry I just can’t. My girls hands I will hold forever like my father will always hold mine in my heart no mater how many miles apart we are.   I might be one person but I learned how to be the best dad (parent) from the best teacher… dad.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy,

Love always,

Your little girl, Hope



                                         Morty The Good Humor Man


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One response

16 06 2013
Denise Maggetti Nowak

Beautiful, Hope. What a tribute to your Dad. You have been blessed.

So-your gift was you and the girls Arriving at his doorstep for Father’s Day? Priceless. That’s the greatest Gift–presence. Sent from my iPhone


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