I take this opportunity to celebrate my dad, mi papi, and also dads everywhere around the globe who love their children fiercely and participate in their lives joyfully.
My dad crossed over more than two decades ago, but thanks to my dreams, he remains close. On this side of the veil, my dad was my best friend. Since I was little, he spent as much time with me as he did with my older brother. He took me with them fishing and taught me, patiently, to bait my own hook. From dreaming, I know he's still got my back. He often reassures me just when I need it most and always reminds me of his love for me. Father’s day coincides with papi’s birthday by a few days, so his energy is extra strong around this time.
I met a lovely scholarly gentleman, a bit older than me, who was sitting near me at a conference the other day. When we were asked to pair up for discussion to share stories about how we experienced nature growing up, many of my stories involved my dad, how he took me fishing, taught me to ride a bike, throw and catch a baseball and solve geometry formulas from scratch so when I took the Regents exams, I wouldn't have to worry about forgetting one while doing a problem. I got 100% on my geometry Regents, though it's a skill I haven't maintained. My new friend was very surprised that growing up in the 50s and 60s, I enjoyed such liberty as a girl. Thanks, dad.
Papi loved to joke with people, he was always gentle and kind. If he got angry, he didn't lash out. My brother and I respected him and were happy to please him. As a young adult, he let me make my decisions, even when he knew I might be mistaken. I loved talking to him and, though we didn't agree in some things, he was very accepting of our differences.
Of course, Dad sent a dream this anniversary as well; I'm knee-deep in pondering. It's a wonderful consolation to know that Love bridges the Great Divide. My dear friend Mally enjoys the same dreaming relationship with her departed father, as do many dreamers. It's not unusual or "woo-woo;" it's available to anyone who explores the dream terrains. Robert Moss, creator of Active Dreaming, has written extensively about dreaming as a practice for dying and a bridge to our departed.
On this national Father's Day I want to applaud any and every man who loves children unconditionally, who guides them wisely and with compassion. It's a great gift to have a father like I do; I wish everyone the same blessing. The song, "Oh, My Papa" has always evoked what I feel for my dad. In one dream of years ago, I'm walking the beach singing it full-heart throttle; this image brings me utter joy.
Thank you, Octavio I. Chirino, for being my papi.