My Dad’s Arm

I had a cup of coffee at the Starbucks near the station with my two girls. They’re the best. On the walk back the youngest spots some signs in shop windows and says “Is Father’s Day tomorrow?” And I’m like, “Yeah, I guess it is.” The oldest says, “Wow, somehow I thought it was next week.” Which, technically it is. Next week. Cause it’s Saturday and tomorrow is Sunday, which is next week.

“Yeah but that’s not what I mean, Daddy,” the older one says. Which of course I know. “Sorry Dad. I was thinking about a letter I wanted to write to you, but I thought I had another week.” And I say, which is true, “I don’t really care about those kinds of things. I know my kids love me.” And they both hug me.

So maybe that was in my head as I was driving around a little later, but I look at my arm on the window, and I swear to you, it’s my Dad’s arm. I’m transported to a time and place when my Dad was still around. And his arm is pink and burnt because he’s Irish and has less melanin than a pink rabbit. And I realize that I’m a lot like him. And my arm is pink and burnt, despite sunblock SPF 50+ applied liberally and regularly.

And I wish I could wish him Happy Fathers Day. And somehow today I want to tell him more than I have in a long time. But I haven’t been able to for most of a decade now, since he passed away after a long period of poor health.

I have to believe that we’re alike in this way, too; that he doesn’t really care about those kinds of things. He knows his kids love him.


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