Still Hearing my Dad

One of the most beautiful lines in Alice McDermott’s newest book “Someone” traces a daughter’s relationship with her Dadphoto Dad barn: “with my heart pinned to my father’s sleeve.” Stopped me in my tracks. That’s how I loved my Dad.  Since dancing on his shoes as a girl, I never stopped following in his footsteps, as I did in this photo taken when Dad was 88. I cherish his memory.

Ray Finlayson always knew what to say to his only daughter.

 

How many teenagers despair in the mirror, dreading they will never measure up?  Dad lifted my downcast face and whispered, “You will be willowy.”

He founded my independence. “No matter what you choose to do, we’ll love you just the same.” He unselfishly told me to live my life, not his or Mom’s.

“Give ‘em hell, Harry!” he’d yell to me before a big presentation.  With Truman’s battle cry, Dad urged me to speak my mind, even if it was what others didn’t want (or expect) to hear.

And as Dad watched me over-work or over-worry, he’d gently ask: “Why don’t you put your feet up?” Advocate of balance before we called it that.

 

But Dad also knew what NOT to say. He never said, Why didn’t you try harder? Or, What’s wrong with you? Or, Why aren’t you more like her?” He raised me on his high hopes and his promise of home no matter what. He was my hero who never asked for applause or credit. He made me laugh but never made me cry. Until I lost him.

 

His words I most miss are those I still hear if I close my eyes. “You’re my girl.” Yes, I am, Daddy. Always will be. Happy Father’s Day, Daddy. Thank you for what you said…and didn’t.

 

 

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  • "In the slips of paper that carry this sweet story forward, we can see the love in our own families and the great possibilities of simple faith."
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The God Box App is shiny new and ready to welcome your cares

December 15, 2017
by Mary Lou Quinlan

Since The God Box book was published in the spring of 2012, so many readers have told me that they started their own God Boxes. I love hearing stories of children creating God Boxes and married couples joining their prayer and cares in a family box. (And my mother would be thrilled!)  A 'real' God box is a constant reminder that we are not in control and that letting go is the first step to finding comfort, hope and relief for life's worries. But did you know that many thousands have gone virtual with their God boxes? To help the many busy ...

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