It Should Be More

I was recently given a photo of myself and my father, taken a long time ago.  I was tiny – in a fat sort of way, admittedly – and I was wrapped in blankets, forming a type of busy, bouffant swirl of flannel.  My father was holding me, standing in front of a mirror.  I was gazing at my reflection, much in the way a kitten would.  I suspect the feather toys and laser pointers were somewhere nearby.

Mirror, Mirror In The Hall

I did not know then what kind of father he was – the complex of goodness and strength that frustrates all definition.  I had no idea what love, pride or gratitude were:  the pillars of devotion .  I only knew that I was safe, warm and utterly content.  I was also probably hungry too, but that doesn’t enter into this essay.

When this photo was taken, father had just finished with his disc jockey duties, having left KCSB-FM with as many jazz records as he could carry under his arm – well, it’s an image I like to hold on to, anyway.  Regardless, they are now mine, and few things are better, I must say, than listening to Gerry Mulligan on a scarlet vinyl Fantasy record.  I have a picture of him on my wall, wearing a sharp-cornered jacket, poised behind his microphone.  The ratings for ‘Nick’s Nitecap’ must have been off the charts.

Shortly after this photo was taken, father would have begun his career in television, as a video-tape editor.   First using scissors, then eventually computers, he would splice together scenes from The Hollywood Palace,  variety shows for Julie Andrews and Alice Cooper, The Wide World of Sports, the KABC News, Good Morning America.  I don’t know how many Emmys he’s won, but that pleases me in a way, to lose count of one’s father’s awards.

But no matter how many winged, alloyed ladies my parents have displayed at home, surely these accolades are not enough.  During my life, I have tried to add more.  But it doesn’t amount to more than the affection and dedication that has become a part of me.  I do wish it could be more.  I am so proud of my father’s kindness, talent, knowledge, experience, his outrageous willingness to do anything for us, that I wish with all my heart that it could be more.

That unknown day would likely have been forgotten if it had not been for that black and white square of film stock.  And from that time when he held me up to that confusing mirror, to this year’s Father’s Day, I can say without a doubt that he has never let me down.

13 responses to “It Should Be More

  1. What a dear, dear tribute! Thank you for sharing these words from your heart. (And you were a very sweet kitten.)

  2. What a sweet tribute. You were and are a darling daughter. My father isn’t around so I’ll wish yours a Happy Father’s Day, too.

  3. Having had the honor of meeting your dad, I can acknowledge the truth of every word here. Give him a squeeze and a hello from me

  4. Such an adorable photo! And what a great dad!

  5. Hi,
    A great tribute to your Dad on Father’s Day, and I love the photo. :)

  6. I hope your father sees this. I’ll bet he’s as proud of you as you are of him.

    The photo made me smile. You were a cutie, with all that hair!

  7. I think I only have 1 photo of my father. And maybe an old slide – not sure. But I care a perm-image in my brain of one time when he had the biggest, stupidest, ear-to-ear grin while watching me and my friends play around the age of 7 (??). I mean, this grin was so big/stupid that even as a kid I asked what was going on. I don’t remember any specific answer – apparently he was just amused by watching us.

  8. Well this made me teary. I, too, hope you share this with your father. Share everything you can and open your heart while you have him with you to do so. You don’t want to wake up some day and wish you had, and have it be too late.

  9. I’m not sure any of us know, at first, what kind of fathers we have. Even now, thirty years past his death, I’m still learning marvelous things about my own father. I’m prouder of him than ever, and miss him more every year.

  10. That photo is priceless and you were such an adorable baby! :) Thanks for visiting I hope you come back soon.

  11. That’s a great photo to have Aubrey and this is a wonderful tribute to your father.

  12. Beautiful photo and story, Aubrey.

  13. A vivid and honest piece of writing. Thanks for posting.

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