Chloe: I don't see why I have to participate. I don't celebrate Father's Day. I don't have a father--I haven't had one since I was seven. My so-called father just drove off one day and never came back. He always said he loved me, but if he had, he couldn't have done that.
How could he have changed so much overnight? I remember when I was little--I loved horses. I always wanted a pony. He got me one. A beautiful pony--Gingersnap. I loved that pony, and I loved my daddy for getting her for me. He taught me to ride. He told me when I was older, I'd be able to ride in horse shows. I was so looking forward to that!
He used to brush my hair for me. He told me I had beautiful hair, that I was his beautiful little princess. He said only a prince would ever be good enough for me. I remember riding on his shoulders--that's how he carried me off to bed at night--and I asked him where I would ever find a prince. He laughed and said, "Don't worry, honey--he'll find you."
At least he was telling the truth about that. Gabriel did find me. At least when we have kids, I know he'll be a good father. He had a good role model in his own dad....
Gabriel: I keep thinking from time to time about Dad. I think he'd be proud of the man I've become. I owe that to him. He was a good example to live up to. You know, he led a busy life, a lot of responsibility, but he always had time for me. Dad's the one who really introduced me to the wonders of the great outdoors, got me started in photography. Mom, not quite so much. No, Mom would have said, "no thanks, hiking with mosquitoes draining my blood is not my idea of a swell time."
I was twelve, and I remember hiking in Maine with him. Mom went off antiquing, and we went up on the Appalachian Trail for a few hours. We stopped at this overlook for a bite to eat, and just stared out at miles and miles of trees and lakes. I looked at him, he looked at me, and we both had the same big grin. That's really one of my favourite memories. I think I knew already then that I wanted to spend my life doing something like that. And thanks to Dad, I got that chance.
It's hard, going through each year, missing them. Each Father's Day that passes by, I wonder what it would have been like if he was still here. I have good memories to hold onto. I just hope I can be nearly as good a dad to the children I want to have with Chloe as my dad was to me. It's a lot to live up to.
|"I told you, don't call me Junior!"|