The short trip down was uneventful, skies bright and blue. During the trip, I reflected on the support and love that my father has given me over the years. I am lucky to have parents that do not judge, nor let minor issues turn into big ones. My dad has always been there as a huge support system for me, always willing to let me bounce ideas off of him. Ultimately, he let me make my own decisions, and in the process, and allowed me to grow. He is generous to a fault, and I can never repay him for all he has done for me.
I was 17 when I graduated from high school. That summer, my family moved to the San Francisco Bay area, some 3,000 miles away, due to a job transfer. My parents gave me the option to go with them to start college in Cali, or stay and go to school in Florida. I decided to stay, and it taught me a lot about self-reliance. I guess you can say I left the nest early, because after my family moved away, I never lived at “home” again.
When children move out of their parents’ home and start their own lives, many families drift apart, even if they are nearby geographically. We are most fortunate that my family, which now includes a lot of nieces and nephews, is very close, and we still spend a lot of time together.
As an adult, I wrestled with the idea of buying my first airplane plane, a Piper Arrow. I knew it would cause some friction. But it was my dad who gave me the encouragement move forward with a lifelong dream. I had an instrument ticket and the money, but there were others in my life who tried to dissuade me.
Ultimately, it was one of my best decisions, because flying has given me the freedom to see this great planet from a perspective most will never enjoy. Like the “butterfly effect”, this one decision eventually allowed me to pilot my own aircraft across the continent, from the Bahamas, to the rocky Michigan shoreline, and to the desert southwest, as well as hundreds of points in-between. It also allowed me to share the freedom and love of flight with others, and help out with the occasional Angel Flight mission.
Saturday nite, we all had a great Father’s Day dinner at the Banana Boat. Lots of calamari, oysters and seared Ahi tuna, accompanied by a very dirty Kettle 1 martini, up. To walk off the food coma, that evening we strolled both sides of Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach, passing long time favorites like City Oyster (my personal favorite), Tryst and Lemongrass Bistro. Sunday morning we lazed in the pool overlooking the IC Waterway.
I hope that each of you also had a great day with your dad, not taking him for granted. No matter how old you are, to them, you are still their “child”.
To those that have lost their father, you have my deepest condolences. Father’s Day can be very bittersweet for those without a dad.
“Lucky that man whose children make his happiness in life and not his grief, the anguished disappointment of his hopes.” — Euripedes
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