My Father...

... Bought me oversized flannel shirts and kitschy polyester from various thrift shops when I was fifteen loved that stuff. He came home loaded down with bags of second hand goodness for me to look through, to my heart's delight.

... Makes the kids eggs and toast in the morning when I get to visit him, so I can sleep or keep writing.

... Came to pick me up when I was arrested for shoplifting at fourteen. I remember the tear that slid down his cheek and into his beard. That tear was what I remembered whenever I felt like stealing. I never stole again.

... Has gone through more suffering in his life than most people I know, yet is constant in love and faith in God. I remember so many long talks with him about spiritual things when I was a teenager, talks that I loved.

... Eats sardine sandwiches for breakfast. Just thought I'd include that.

... Danced at my wedding, after he did the honors of marrying Chinua and I.

... Shows me he loves me with words, hugs, the excitement of telling me something new, jokes at my expense, and indignance if he feels that I've been wrongly treated. I've never doubted that he loves me.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. You are such a good father. I love you.