This year my dad is turning 90. I am so blessed to still have him and all of our heart-to-heart talks—and there have been many! I want to honor him in my column. My dad’s name is Marty; he was born in London, England. My parents came to California on the Queen Mary (my mom was pregnant with me at that time); yes, the same boat that's docked in Long Beach!
My dad was very strict while I was growing up because he felt if you weren’t doing your best, why do it? My dad was always a positive light and a self-starter. He always found time to keep it light with a few good jokes; that’s the way he lived his life. Family was always very important. If there was something he could do to help you, he was there. He enjoyed his grandchildren and never missed a holiday, and he even spent Christmas Eve at our home for 30 years; he and my husband would get bagels at 7:30 a.m. before Christmas started, creating a cherished family tradition.
Even in the most stressful times, my dad would find humor. If someone was in the hospital or he would be hunting down a good cup of coffee, he was happy and always kept a bright outlook. I know I could even stop by a gas station and bring him a coffee with vanilla, and it would make his day. My dad had two sisters whom he was very close with in different ways.
You could say my dad was a very black and white kind of person. If he tried something one way and it didn’t work, he would say, “Let’s try the other way.” My dad worked until he was well into his 80s and loved his work. It really made him feel like he had a purpose. He was an interior decorator and could make any home look beautiful, down to the color on the walls and the type of fabric. He knew how to sew and upholster almost anything, and he was very talented. His favorite saying was “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep going on.”
He lived by that motto, and I believe it helped me get to where I am today. All of his little positive talks of encouragement made me believe there was always a way through any obstacle. Whenever I called him, he was always happy to hear from me. Dad, you were the best dad anyone could have. I truly treasure our relationship as dad and daughter, but better yet, I always think of you as my friend.
Happy Birthday Dad! Thank you for being the best dad a girl could have! Love you, Dad!
Tune in to the brighter side of life, The Kim Pagano Show, on 1590 KVTA or stream Kim on KVTA.com and iTunes and download Kim’s podcast. To share your story, email firstname.lastname@example.org.