Happy Birthday, Dad

March 2, 2012 at 5:36 AM 12 comments

Today would be my dad’s 67th birthday.  Happy Birthday, Dad!!  I miss you dearly.  There isn’t a day that goes by where you don’t come to mind.  I thought since his birthday landed on a Friday and it’s a day that would typically be a “fashion friday” post, I would share with you what my favorite dress is and why.

My favorite dress is by Anna Sui.  It’s a lace black sheath dress and it’s proven to be timeless and flattering.

But that’s not why I love it.  There is a story behind the dress.

The fall of Senior year of college was an emotional time in my life.  I went through a messy break up in which my foundation for trust was rocked.  It was about a month into the school year and I was knee deep in turmoil.  At that time, I flew home for my brother’s engagement party.  I believe I actually flew home without any sort of a cocktail dress for the cocktail attire, beautiful engagement party (what was I thinking?!).  The day before the engagement party, my dad said he would take me shopping for a dress.  I jumped at the opportunity for a new dress (probably why I forgot one in the first place).

My dad had a tradition of taking the long way anywhere and making frequent pit stops along the way.  I swear when we drove to Montana on a family trip, he took the frontage road the whole way.  As a child of farmers, he loved to check out the crops up close in rural areas and as a developer, he loved to check out the strip malls in high traffic areas.  The freeway just wasn’t for him.  This trip to Stanford shopping center for a dress, of course, involved a detour.  Instead of pulling into the Stanford Nordstrom’s, he pulled into the Stanford campus.  I moaned and rolled my eyes and begged him that we could just go shopping.  He insisted we go to the Stanford campus instead.

Then, instead of his typical 10 MPH drive by, he parked.  By this point, I was really groaning.  He was a stubborn man so he didn’t listen to my groaning and he had us get out of the car and walk around Stanford campus.  He then went into the Stanford church.  We walked around the gorgeous church and I was taken aback by its beauty.  Having grown up 15 minutes away from the Stanford church, that was my first time inside.

We both kneeled down in a pew and it was here that he said to me,”Kate, I know you are going through a hard time in your life right now.   You have a very rare and special gift, which is faith.  Faith is something I’ve worked really hard to have but it comes to you naturally, like how it did to my mother.  Your faith will help you though this time and you will come out of this.”

My dad was not one to get involved in something like a breakup.  That sort of stuff has always been mom territory.  He wasn’t one to push God on anyone.  And he seldom spoke of his parents, who both died before I was born.  But he knew what was right for each individual child and at that point faith in God, in myself, in relationships and in the future, was the answer for me.

After the church visit, we went shopping to find the dress for the engagement party.  We actually went to a few different stores, until we found the perfect one that we both loved.  I wear the Anna Sui dress we both picked out with pride and with a reminder to have faith in life and love.  I wore the dress to his funeral at the San Jose Cathedral,  a church he loved, he helped restore, he walked me down the aisle in, and a place where he felt faith.

To dad, Happy 67th birthday.  I have tremendous faith that you are watching down on all of us right now.  We will have a gin and tonic at sunset on your favorite beach just for you.

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12 Comments Add your own

  • 1. dmm  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:33 AM

    Tears, tears, tears. . . I ‘ll never meet your Dad but I feel as though I know him. He was a lucky man to have a daughter like you. Detours are wonderful. dmm

  • 2. Nat  |  March 2, 2012 at 7:53 AM

    oh my gosh this post had me in tears. It sounds like he was an amazing man and and was lucky to have a daughter like you. He’s definitely smiling down and watching over you every day!

  • 3. ann  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    kate, this is beautiful. what a great story. to faith and love and gin and tonics. happy friday.

  • 4. Katie Wadell  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:13 AM

    What a beautiful post…thank you for sharing Kate!

  • 5. Lauren  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    What a beautiful post Kate. I love that dress. It’s timeless. Happy Birthday Don. He’s definitely watching down on you. Seeing photos of the wedding brings back memories of your father/daughter dance. Heartbreaking but inspiring. You two had such a special relationship.

  • 6. Glynnis  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:34 AM

    Nobody dies until they are forgotten…. enjoy that gin and tonic.

  • 7. Allie  |  March 2, 2012 at 10:59 AM

    Happy Birthday Uncle Don! That was a really touching story Kate and now I have new purpose when I drink my gin and tonic.

  • 8. Cheryl Deegan  |  March 2, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    Beautiful memories Kate. And Glynnis, your post is so true.
    Happy Birthday Don. I sure miss you. A chocolate eclair will be eaten in your honor….. 🙂

  • 9. courcydesign  |  March 2, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    This is such a touching and amazing tribute to your Dad, Kate! Thank you for sharing!

  • 10. Julie  |  March 2, 2012 at 5:06 PM

    Cheers to big Don- his smile, sense of humor and love for life will forever remain imprinted in my memory. Nailed it on the Post friend!

  • 11. Erin  |  March 2, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    Kate, you are amazing. Your dad is watching over you and beaming with pride. Thank you for sharing this beautiful post. Lots of love to you and your family on this special day.

  • 12. Barbara Walsh  |  March 5, 2012 at 2:10 PM

    Happy Birthday Don ! Great job Kate, your blog brought all the Walsh’s to tears. Thanks for the memories.


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