We Rarely Speak of Those We Hold Closest to Our Hearts

Memories of my Father.

Late January and my thoughts turn, as they always do, to my Father. His birthday was January 22. I meant to write this on your birthday, Père. Life and tiredness got in the way. No matter. It gave me more time to collect my thoughts.

I am a big believer in who or what we hold closest to our hearts we rarely, if ever, speak of. I rarely speak of you. Yet, you are always with me. Always. Always. Always. I hear your voice in my ear all the time.

So many thoughts of you.

Thoughts of the time you took that Oceanography class and we went on the field trip on Long Island Sound in February. As they'd say in England, it was perishing that day. Getting to go inside New London Ledge Lighthouse — what a rare treat. Whenever I see that lighthouse, I think of you and that day.

The countless peanut butter and butter saltines I'd make you. They constitute a meal, don't they? They certainly do hit the spot.

The trips to Vermont where Paula and Linda would pack me off with you, no doubt thrilled that I was gone for an entire weekend. Me, telling you that I'd stay awake the entire way there and keep you company. Falling asleep while we were not even out of Haddam and waking up in Vermont — way up near the Canadian border. I still love the cool night air and still fall asleep in the car. Some things never ever leave you.  

All the times you'd come and pick me up no matter where I was. Switching to French so no one would know what we were saying. You morphing into Père and Mom becoming Mère. And it has stuck to this day.

Shannon. I found out exactly what she was after doing much research online. She was a red golden retriever. The only thing on this earth that I loved as much as I loved you. And she loved you too. What a lucky girl I was to have you both.

All of the American Standard songs that you'd listen to from the Great American Songbook. Love them all to this day.

About a year or so ago I had a surreal experience. It was a lovely spring day in the late afternoon. Someone had called me while I was en route to a doctor's appointment. So I pulled into a school parking lot to take the call. Soon another car drove into the parking lot. A father got out of the car and went inside the school. A few minutes later he and his daughter emerged from the school. She in a Brownie uniform, chatting away animatedly, sundry items in her hands and pouring out of her backpack. 

Before they drove off, he put the top down on the car and they drove away. No doubt she was still chattering away, telling him all that had transpired in school that day, oblivious to the fact that it was all about her in his eyes.  

I sat there taking it all in. It was like watching my childhood self. I sent the girl a telepathic message telling her, in effect, to relish such moments as it doesn't ever get any better than that. To have your father all to yourself and to have him listen to you and validate you and love you for the person you are. No, it really doesn't get any better than that — ever. 

So it is that I am thinking of you today, Père.

Avec amour toujours,



P.S. I chose this song just for you, Père. Ella Fitzgerald, your favorite. The voice exudes timeless class and sophistication...so reminiscent of you. Love the simple piano accompaniment.

Read all of Lea's blogs here.

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Lea Tomaszewski January 27, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Thank you everyone for the kind words. I really appreciate it. Loss is universal to all of us and I know many of you can relate to what I wrote about my Father. Again, thank you. Your comments have touched my heart!
Mark Owen January 27, 2013 at 03:56 AM
Stories from the heart are always the best -- and as true to us as is possible. Thank you for sharing yours.
Lea Tomaszewski January 27, 2013 at 04:02 AM
Thank you, again, for all of the kind words. Knowing that others can relate to what I've written makes it all that much more meaningful for me. All the best, Lea
Janet Connolly January 27, 2013 at 01:07 PM
Lea, I enjoyed reading your beautiful, simple memories. What a lovely tribute to your Père. I can relate, my father was a big presence in our lives. Wish he was still here, but I'm also grateful to have had him. Hugs. Janet
Mattie Susko January 29, 2013 at 09:26 AM
Lea, beautiful, just beautiful, you have touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes with your moving remembrance of your father. You are correct, peanut butter and butter saltines do constitute a meal. I hope telepathic messages like yours are heard loud and clear. I imagine that shortly after you sent that sweet little girl your message, she stopped in the midst of her lovely chattering and simply said, "I love you, Daddy, " and again continued her chattering, music to his ears. Thank you, Lea. - Mattie


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