In honor of the day on which we celebrate our dads, I wanted to share a little bit about mine. Well, truth be told I have 3 dads now. For the past five and a half years I have had the World's Greatest Father-in-law (you know I won the In-Law Lottery, right? Seriously.) He makes me my favorite hamburgers, chili, or chicken soup any time I ask and he has even been known to put his own life in danger, hanging off his roof just to hang my WalkMS sign at his house!
For the past 15 years I have had the immense pleasure of having a stepdad who loves me, makes me laugh and taught me everything I know about theater. Before I knew he would become family, he influenced my decision to go to Pace...which is of course where I met Chris, so in effect, my stepdad could also claim to be responsible for introducing me to my husband.
Then of course, there's my Dad. Now I know everyone will say they have a great dad and all. And I believe you. But seriously....not kidding around...my Dad is a rock star. I mean, he is actually a Rock Star. Well, by day he is a pediatrician and looks after people's babies, but by night he plays in a band called Paradocs and a few years back they invited me to come sing with them and now we have a pretty decent band and my Dad and I get to rock out together.
Suffice it to say that my Dad is 100% responsible for my musical talent.
Well, I don't know...my Mom does a pretty mean version of both "Bali Ha'i" from "South Pacific" and the "Feed the Birds" song from "Mary Poppins", so really we'll say Dad is 98% responsible. :-)
For as long as I can remember I have loved music and it has been a huge part of my life and it is my Dad who gave this gift to me. He has that musical genius ability to be able to hear a song once and then play it on guitar (I hate people who can do this and I hate he did not pass this gift along to me!) He picked out our first piano, a beautiful Schumann baby grand and we named him Oscar. After Oscar arrived, Dad showed me which note corresponded to which piano key and from there, I taught myself to play. Oscar and I became the best of friends and when my parents divorced and we were going to be spending more time at my Mom's apartment closer to Pace, Dad told me to take Oscar with me. Even though owning a baby grand had always been my father's dream, he said Oscar needed to be wherever I was because we were meant to be together and we have been ever since.
I could write about so many things, including this generous spirit that my Dad has always had. For example, how many people form a rock band and go on to play dozens of charity events raising money to fight cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, MS and more?? He is that kind of doctor, too, going above and beyond for his patients. When I was a little girl, he had a patient come in with a horrible heat rash, and discovered that the single mother was having financial troubles and living in a small apartment with no A/C...in the middle of August...in Atlanta. Most doctors would have prescribed applying cool compresses and ibuprofen for pain and then sent them on their way. Not my Dad. My dad went to Home Depot, he bought an air-conditioning unit which he paid for out of his own pocket. He then drove to their 110 degree apartment and installed the unit for them. That's the kind of doctor and man my Dad is.
People say things to me about how "unlucky" I am, especially when it comes to my health. Sure, I probably have more incurable disease than most, many of which are difficult to treat, to say the least. But how can anyone be more equipped to handle them all than me, because unlike the rest of the world out there fighting diseases, I have Dr. Larry Clements on my side. To say that I am lucky to have my Dad as a father is the understatement of the century. Not only did he give us a happy, often magical childhood, but he has been my superhero physician for 30+ years, giving me advice, doing research whenever needed, calling whomever was necessary to ensure that I receive the best possible care and treatment for any/all of my illnesses.
It is no secret I am a Daddy's Girl, and while this phrase may have negative connotations for some people, if you were MY Daddy's girl, you would have nothing but positive, wonderful things to say about it, knowing that you were the luckiest girl in the whole wide world.
Happy Father's Day, Daddy!
I love you more than words can say.