Sunday, June 24, 2007

Letters To My Father. Letter 2.

Dear Dad,

You gave me so much in the short time we had together.

I'm not talking about material things, although you provided well for us in that respect too.

I'm talking about the intangibles. I had so many questions, and you always had the time and patience to provide the answers.

I remember the first time we watched a thunderstorm together from inside the garage. We looked up at the sky watching the rain pour down in torrents. I was both afraid and thrilled by the sight. You told me about the different types of lightening, what thunder was and how to tell how far away the lightening was. You told me what steps people could take to be safe in a storm, how rubber grounds electricity. Your calm rational explanations assuaged my fears and stimulated my mind. You nurtured a life long thirst for knowledge in me. We watched many more thunderstorms together each one bringing more information, more questions, more answers.

You were a mechanical engineer, with a logical, rational mind. I appreciated that calm, collected, thoughtful approach that you had towards life. You knew the value of reason and it was an approach that I always responded well to (and still do).

I was not a kid who "did what she was told" and I think that deep down you liked that about me. You certainly never tried to turn me into that type of kid. You respected me and my right to express myself, then explained why I should do what you were asking me do.

You were a feminist before women in the 60s took up feminism.

I remember you asking me through the years what I wanted to do with my life. My first response when I was seven was to get married and have kids. You looked almost disappointed. You asked me if there was anything I wanted to do besides that, for example, did I want to have a career. I just brushed that one off by saying well I could be a Nurse or something. Your response was, Why not a Doctor? After giving it the amount of thought most seven year olds would give it (a few seconds tops) I came back with my final reply that I definitely wanted to be a Library lady. You had introduced me to the library that year and the ladies who helped me find my books were nice. As I got older, you brought books home from the library for me about women who had made a difference, contributed to, or changed the world in some way. The significant women of our times. Marie Curie, Joan of Arc, Florence Nightingale, etc.

Well, Dad, I didn't become a Marie Curie, but I did become a Library lady for a while, and now I'm a Software Developer! Recently I've taken up writing.

Your logical Mechanical Engineers mind would have loved the 21st century with all of its tech toys. Engineering was your passion and you would have appreciated this aspect of our times. Your tech toy was your shortwave/AM radio. I remember your explanations about the radio and how it worked. I thought there were little people in there talking. When I told you that you removed the back and showed me the radio tubes and wires. Listening to people in India speaking was so exciting it fired my imagination. Just sitting in the living room, listening to the AM channels on the radio, while you read your newspaper and we chatted intermittently was soothing to my soul.

I remember our long walks after dinner. You needed to exercise because of your heart problems and asked me to join you. We walked and talked for several months before you died.

Those moments were precious to me.

Thank you, Dad,

Your loving daughter, Kitty

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