My Pop

Three loaves of pumpkin bread–ate one, gave two away (have almost perfected the recipe!)

He’s one of a kind, my dad. This blog is about my giving, but I could never be a bigger giver than my dad. I thought it appropriate to share a bit about him with all of you–we recently drove down to LA, where he and my mom live, and cooked him a five-course Italian dinner. Stop! I wrote “we.” Okay, I did not cook anything!

Start again. We recently drove down to LA, where he and my mom live, and my beloved and very creative and chef-happy husband cooked him a five-course Italian dinner. It was our Christmas present to him… I was the dish sorter and cleaner and the table waitress.

My dad grew up in Venice, CA, was an athlete, and a baker’s son. He had sort of a rough childhood, but instead of carrying on the misery of anger and neglect, he forged a new path. He absolutely loves people, and LoVes to have fun. He’s a born storyteller and exaggerator, he misuses the English language continually, and his very essence is generous.

Scroll back up and look at him! What an outfit. He wanted to dress Italian (he’s actually Basque) so he threw on an old medal, a black bow tie, and a beret. He’s a goof. You could never embarrass him since he’s the one always making ridiculous choices for himself. Here are a few photos of the evening.

My husband and I used to live in Colorado, but moved back to California–leaving a gorgeous Craftsman home that we built near a creek–to be closer to my parents, who are both gems. We sacrificed a lot of material things leaving… But! But! Being near inspiring people is worth more than any beautiful home (it had a whole upstairs for the kids, and a library, and a separate wing for guests, and a really gorgeous bathtub and a half acre with fruit trees and grape vines, and…). But who can learn virtue from a house? Just think of the examples my kids see each time we are with them. Grandparents who get down on their knees to play with the little ones, who look straight into the eyes of the big kids and ask them how they are, grandparents who take them out fishing, who take them out shopping, who take them out walking in the neighborhood to find cats to talk to. Grandparents who pray for them.

You know? I want to be like my dad. I want to enjoy real people more than the characters I find in a book. I want to take the time and effort to bring beauty and laughter to others’ lives. I want to be that kind of person who just can’t judge another…

So, now you’ve been introduced to my dad. Jack. I bet you have people like this in your life–and if you don’t, maybe YOU can become that person. The kind of person that exudes goodness and giving… The kind of person who values others–even broken others.

Cheers, dad! I love you.