I have a very strong memory of my last visit with my Dad. He was in hospice care and really wasn’t talking at all. I held his hand, and just sat quietly with him and told him how much I loved him. Then from out of the blue, he said “I love you, too”. That was the greatest gift I’ve ever received and I can see his face to this day when he said it.

My Dad love food, loved going out to dinner, bringing home that surprise box of doughnuts after work, and for some reason, had a strong love of mayo! It was always a game at Christmas to try and find the one place he wouldn’t find the cookies my Mom had baked. I don’t think we ever won that one. But I know he would have been so happy to sit in my kitchen one last time, nibble away at whatever I was baking and just talk.

I’ve always wished he was with me each time I visit some of my favorite places, like Ulele or Elizabeth’s for breakfast. He would have loved them, and most definitely had his favorite martini. Of course, we would always wrap up anywhere we went out with a visit to the gift shop. That pretty much explains my shopping habits!

My Dad wasn’t perfect, but neither am I. He raised five of us, taking us in a big station wagon, and it was the rare occasion when at least one of us didn’t get “that” look. I miss him terribly but when I think of him, I have that great gift of our last words to each other, and the great meals we shared when he and Mom visited. Happy Father’s Day to everyone, and hug Dad tightly. You are the greatest gift he will ever get.

Ann Kelly

Ann Kelly

Hello, I am Ann Kelly! I was born in Garfield Heights, Ohio (which is a suburb of Cleveland) as one of five children!

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