Labor of Love

Years and years ago, when I was much smaller – yet still the tallest in my class, I should add – and had an apparent partiality to bows:

Aubrey Has Bows

 …when I labored under the illusion that horses had, or at least should have, green noses:

Hard But Not Impossible To Believe

…I labored under another idea which wasn’t an illusion, but a very factual, very real gratitude:

An Important Message

 Now mind, I hadn’t much sense then, I was as spoiled as a piece of runny, unharvested fruit and usually only cared about myself; but I had a pretty good idea about the grading of fathers and that mine had achieved very high and very superior marks.

Did he not bring me a toy every time he came home from work?

Did I not – ca. 1965 – instruct mother to ‘go away and read’ so dad and I could play?

Did I not happily wear the cowboy hat he brought me – and flush the toy cosmetics mother bought me down the toilet?  (though this happened over 45 years ago, that particular incident still gives me a sharp pinch of guilt)

And now? I still wouldn’t call myself a reasonable person.  I’m just as spoiled, and unjustly fortunate – although far less likely to throw away any cosmetics. 

And I am still so proud, so very proud of my father.  In youth then as well as in my current extreme aged-ness, his gentleness, calm and wisdom set him apart from the common, grazing herd.  His stint as DJ – spinning jazz platters after midnight, man:

Dad Holds The Mike

 His adventure, written up in a local paper, as Seaman 1/c falling off his ship:

War Injury

 Marked him, from an early date, for greatness.

Later, working for ABC, he won Emmys for video-tape editing.  The first statue he won, was back when the technical awards were presented on television, and Bob Newhart announced his name.  I recall hearing a shriek in the audience, which, thank goodness, turned out to be my mother.

Now that he’s retired, he plays golf, grows tomatoes, works with Boyfriend in refurbishing his 1951 Willys truck.  He and Boyfriend are as thick as thieves, by the way.

Now, I have no proof that green-nosed horses do not exist.  In fact, I hope to see one, and I see no reason why our joyous, verdant meeting will not happen…one day.

But I do have proof of my father’s incomparable heart – I have proof of his love and care…every day.

Happy Father’s Day


12 responses to “Labor of Love

  1. Your every post on your father in the years I’ve been reading them is replete with adoration and warmth … and to such a degree that I’ve come to associate you and dad. Thank you for sharing again this Father’s Day.

  2. Having had the good luck and honor of meeting your father, I can attest to every word. Kind, gentle, welcoming, and a joy to talk with.
    Miss you, Aubrey. It has been too long. But you are in my thoughts and heart always. Hi to your dad and your mom.
    xo, Babette

  3. I’ve reached two conclusions:

    that horses’ noses arent’ actually green is a grievous oversight. I hope it gets remedied stat.
    your father is as always, a fine and grand gentleman.

  4. What a wonderful tribute to your dad! And how fun that he and Boyfriend are thick as thieves. That makes everything so much more fun!

  5. Don’t feel guilty about flushing down the cosmetics: being a cowboy is more fun than being a fashion model or whatever we were supposed to be with those toy powder sets. But I think mothers back then suffered from contempt due to familiarity: they were usually there all the time, at the child’s beck and call, while Daddy was off to war or work. Daddies nowadays also spend a lot of time at home looking after their kids, so the glamor is off a bit, but they’re no less important to the little Aubreys of today. Alas, there are still no horses with green noses. (Are you sure that’s not a bit of hay hanging from the horse’s mouth?)

  6. I have read many tributes to Fathers in the past couple of days, but yours is a stand out! Love in every word.

    And I expect that with gene manipulation that horses will have green noses any day now. I am sure they will glow too!

  7. What a wonderful tribute to your father. I’m so glad that he’s ‘playing golf and growing tomatoes’, and that he and Boyfriend are friends. The two most important people in your life must be friends. It’s a requirement, no? I get behind, but I always enjoy your posts. They are truly uplifting.

  8. alleycat – Thank you so much. And for the longest time it used to be so difficult for me to write something like this.

    Babette – I remember the Thanksgiving you came over: it was such a charming evening. We shall meet again – the logistics just CAN’T be that difficult!

    Mariser – a) I believe that scientists are hard at work on that very problem; b) I believe that you are exactly right.

    Lauri – Oh, they’re tight alright; but they work NON-STOP on that silly truck!

    Hangaku – Oh, yes familiarity does breed contempt. But I know that mother bought me those cosmetics to be nice – but I loved bugs and horses, so a modeling career was right out – and I hate that I was being so unappreciative. I try to make that right.

    FD – Thanks! Glowing noses – yes! What about ‘mood’ noses – noses that change color as the horse’s mood changes?

    missus – Thanks; they are not only pals but in many ways they are so similar! In the small personality traits, in interests – it often gets quite uncanny!

  9. My father is a wonderful man… I miss not being around him more.

  10. Your dad sounds like a wonderful father and your tribute to him is beautiful! I think you must be the apple of his eye!
    My first thought about the horse in the drawing was that it was chewing on a hunk of grass and some of it was sticking out its mouth…

  11. Lovely post. If I merited this sort of tribute decades down the road, I’d really feel I had accomplished something.

  12. I felt so touched by your kind description, and it inspired my heart to send few thoughts to my own father.

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