Seriously though, I cannot imagine what my life would have been like without him. He was my protector. When storms scared me, when I was convinced the boogeyman was going to get me, when I had to recite an Easter poem in church, he was there.
He was my provider. He worked hard to provide for mom and me. He made sure I went to college and had a safe car to drive. When I needed him, he was there with a helping hand, an encouraging word and even advice. Heck, even when I didn’t want it, he was there with advice on boys (and later men) … and he was always right (damn it!).
It is hard for me to imagine not knowing my dad. Yet, my guest this week, Jan Krulick-Belin, author of Love, Bill: Finding My Father through Letters from World War II, barely had the chance to know her father. He died unexpectedly when she was just six years old. She got to know him after finding over 100 letters he wrote to her mother during the war. In fact, the letters were just the beginning of a journey that took her from the intimate details about her father to learning about the history of the Jewish people not just in Europe but in Northern Africa as well. Finally, ending with the Jewish-Moroccan family who provided a sense of home for a lonely solider at a time when he really needed it.
For me, being a daughter is second-nature given the bond I’ve always had with my dad. In fact, our bond is something I’ve often taken for granted. Jan had to create that bond and through that experience, learned what it meant to be a daughter.
Father’s Day is coming and it is a special day for those of us who know what it means to not just have a father, but to have a really good dad.
Listen to the podcast for a true celebration of fatherhood.