I owe my love for storytelling to my father. In a way, he groomed me for such.

Everything from his slacks to his boat shoes to his glasses to his clenched fists and cussing under his breath. The way his combover stood straight like the mast on a sailboat in fair winds, and the way he’d get to laughing in a breathless manner when something was downright, belly-aching funny.

Even when things weren’t light and airy, he’d always find a way because he always had the will. The days I spent with him as a young girl beckoned a certain lyricism that became the narration of our time together—something I’d hold close to when the fever of life was over for him. 

He’d inadvertently crafted my hand in cataloging these memories and characteristics of detail, despite his hopeful plan for me to be in law enforcement like he was. He’d entertained my wishes to pursue a degree in journalism and he sung my praises to his circle of silver-haired friends who’d all watched me grow up―their names I can no longer remember. I left them behind, somewhere in the smoky bowling alley back when cigarettes were as common as his left-handed 300 game. He wore the name Southpaw Drake till his dying day.

Moreover storytelling, he taught me how to be. And I realize now what a rare and special gift that is. When the world skips a beat or falters in step, I remain grounded with him overhead. 

Happy Father’s Day to you, dad.