Father’s Day 2016

posted in: Italian lifestyle and culture, Writing | 18

KitesI realize how very fortunate I am to still have my father. He celebrated his 91st birthday recently and lives an active life.

My DAD Photo by Margie MiklasThe US life expectancy for American males today is 76.3 years, so I guess our Italian family has some good genes.

Dad and MOM photo by Margie MiklasI’m also lucky that he lives with my 90-year-old mother in Naples, Florida, only a three-hour drive away. I want to dedicate this Father’s day blog to my Dad.

First, a little history about Father’s Day in the United States from Andrew Hollandbeck.

“In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day as the third Sunday in June of that year and encouraged states to do the same. Congress officially recognized Father’s Day in 1956 with the passage of a joint resolution.

Ten years later, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day. In 1972, President Richard Nixon permanently established the observance of the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day in the United States.”

I want to share a story from my childhood about my Dad. Even then I learned important life lessons that although I didn’t realize it, would impact me forever.

Marco Island 2013 Dad fly kite Photo by Margie MiklasMy Dad loves to fly kites. Up until a few years ago, he used to design and make his own kites.  When we were children, my Dad  made box kites for my twin brothers and myself, and taught us how to fly them.  Just a few years ago he shared his kite-flying techniques on the beach in Marco Island with my granddaughters.

Marco Island 2013 Kids Mom and Dad kite Photo by Margie MiklasThe kites he made us  in the 1950s were constructed using a very light wood. I thought it was balsa, but now that I have asked him about it, he said that it was cedar, cut from some cedar siding that had been stored from house construction materials. He used newspaper for the body and rags for the tail. I didn’t remember this detail until I recently talked with my brother Rick, who reminded me that Dad used flour and water to make the glue used to secure the newspaper to the wood and around the string. Very resourceful! We helped put the kites together. No real expense to these kites and yet a lot of fun.

Box Kite Photo by PhotoPhoto33 (Flickr) https://www.flickr.com/photos/139223434@N08/
Photo by PhotoPhoto33 (Flickr)

One of those times, when I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, we had spent much time and effort and worked really hard to get my kite up in the air, Finally my kite was flying high and everything seemed so perfect. All of a sudden, I needed to go to the bathroom. I just let go of the kite, never thinking about the fact that it would continue flying into infinity.

Needless to say, once I saw that kite flying away with the string no longer attached to anything,  I began to cry. I was devastated. That was an early lesson in life about holding onto things you want.  I realized that once you let something go, it may never come back.

I still remember that experience like it was yesterday. My Dad was very comforting and I never forgot how I felt. It’s the little things in life that have so much meaning.

Marco Island 2013 Dad kite Photo by Margie MiklasI love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day, Dad and to all the dads, step-dads, and dads-to-be.

To my friends who no longer have their dads with them I hope your memories will last a lifetime.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, so please leave a comment.

Ciao and Grazie.

Have you stopped by my Instagram page lately? See what images inspire me.


18 Responses

  1. Anonymous

    A special memory
    Each year Dan & I realize more what great care and love we had from our parents. I know it’s because we have heard and read too many children suffer at home😔

    • margieinitaly

      We were very blessed to grow up in loving homes. I appreciate it to this day.

  2. Tony

    Great post, and a great story about your Dad and life’s lessons! Thanks for sharing!

  3. leelaurinoLee

    How very lucky you are to have both of your parents with you.
    and it appears being Italian/American may give us a gift of a longer life.
    Growing up very poor my father never spent money on himself and made sure we were taken car of even after he was gone.
    thanks for sharing your story

  4. Anonymous

    Hi Marge,

    We are all very lucky to have a Dad like ours still with us, aren’t we ?

    Your brother Rick

  5. Book Club Mom

    What a wonderful story. I can see how that memory would stay with you always. And one with such meaning too. My father just turned 90 in April and my mother will be 91 next month. They are still doing well and I’m so happy we see them often!

I'm always interested in your thoughts, so please leave a comment.