Here’s to you, Dad!

10 years ago today (December 31), I lost my father.  Like the great accountant he was, he moved on at the end of the year (literally and figuratively).  Those of us who knew him and loved him have moved on, better for having had him in our lives. 

My Dad grew up in a poor family.  He was the youngest of seven by many years, probably an “accident.” My grandfather died when my Dad was around 9 or 10, leaving my grandmother and his older siblings to raise him.  Fortunately, they pointed him in the right direction, which led him to meeting and marrying my Mom.  If it weren’t for that confluence of circumstances, you would not be reading this feeble blog!

My Dad ended up being the first person in his family to graduate from college.  He had a very successful career as an accountant.  Most importantly, he and my Mom raised four contributing members of society, even after going through the incredible pain of losing a child.  (OK, the contributing aspect is one the four of us can debate about each other, but that’s the subject for another blog or even a book.) He was never easy on us (except the youngest, our little sister!) but we knew he loved us.  He expected us to do our best at everything we did.    

Those of you that know me know I generally am a non-discriminate consumer of various alcoholic beverages. However, I’ve never been a big whiskey/bourbon/brown liquor person.  Earlier this year, my family vacationed in California and I spent an evening with my Dad’s best friend, Gary.    He proposed a toast to my Dad.  He ordered us my Dad’s favorite drink from their early careers, a Manhattan, which is whiskey (brown liquor), vermouth with a little bitters and a cherry added.    I drank it proudly.  Gary told me some stories about my Dad I wish I knew when he were alive.  Again, a subject for another blog. 

A few weeks ago, I was in New York with a close friend.  Without any prompting, he ordered us Manhattans while we waited for our dinner table.  I smiled and told him the story about the Manhattan being my Dad’s favorite drink.  We had a “moment,” as much as two guys can have, wondering why he ordered us Manhattans.  I again toasted my Dad and drank the Manhattan proudly. 

Here’s to you, Dad. I know you are still with me. 

May your New Year bring back fond memories and the opportunity to create new memories.   Happy New Year!

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