Courtney, Me, Lindsay and Dad at Mt. Vernon
With Father’s Day approaching you begin to reflect on the impact your Dad has had on your life. Although the Taboo Truths were partially his hand in creation, I reflect on what my Dad means to me on a daily basis!
I think the frustration we both feel at times is due to our uncanny similarities! Perfectionism, need for control, having the last say, inability to concede and most of all…..STUBBORNNESS! You can almost hear the heavy sound of horns colliding as two ram heads tangle as if to gain the notice of female when my Dad and I begin our dance! Oh…the heads we butt! But the opposing side of my Dad is incomparable and has literally molded my life.
His name is Thomas William Maino, the youngest brother of three. His father, Carl Maino died of a massive heart attack when my Dad was a mere 18. He was mentored by his older brother Jack, who died of a massive heart attack in his mid 4o’s. (Yes, I am doing my aerobics to keep my heart strong!) The linage of the Maino family is one I’m very proud to be a part of. My Dad is charged with maintaining the Family Tree…of his own volition. His hunger to learn more about his family line has taken him and our family to Germany. We’ve met our distant relatives in Lauterecken and walked on the ground where the first Maino’s lived in that country. Dad was the primary care giver to our Mom who developed Alzheimer in her late 50′s and passed away 3 years ago. My Dad has watched one by one while many of his friends and his family pass on to the other side of life. He is now the “Godfather” of our Michigan Maino family.
All this is to me a small part of who he is. My Dad, though strict, filled my childhood with love. He was the life-force to my self esteem. He pushed me and has ALWAYS been there whenever I needed him. In times of enormous self doubt and the need to give up, he would pull me…sometimes kicking and screaming to push on. He is truly responsible for the depth of my being. My love of travel, my devotion to family, my independence, my self confidence, my athletic abilities, my love of music (I remember our old 8 track tape player with Tijuana Brass playing!), my kinship and love of animals, my drive to work for more, my interest in history, my love of theater…. I could go on and on. But in the simplest form he was and is the one who enables me to stand upright. To keep breathing and continue this life walk.
My Dad has done so much to help me since my divorce and more so, my relocation. From maintaining my house that’s still for sale in Michigan to welcoming me with no hestitation to reside with him when I’m home. He makes trips to the airport when needed and is the rock when my girls call for help. My new life in Virginia has produced so little positives and so much disappointment. And without knowing the details he faithfully feeds me strength. “Be strong my girl” he said as his comforting, familiar, strong arms envelope me. He doesn’t say I love you at the end of every conversation…but when he does the words crash my dehydrated soul and I am no longer thirsty. I strive daily to earn respect and admiration from him.
The bond I feel with my Dad goes beyond the typical father/daughter relationship. It isn’t because he helps me when I need him and is there, always! It isn’t because I am in awe and admiration for the challenges in his life handled with grace and devotion. It isn’t because I have his smile and his mothers nose. Simply because so much of who he is I want to emulate and when I look at him…I’m home! I love you beyond words my Dad. Happy Fathers Day!