Happy Father’s Day to my Papa.

Because you were Goliath for our plays.
Or the horse.
Because every night, you had time to make banana chocolate milkshakes.
Because you always answered the little six year old, scared in the dark, calling

Because you read Winnie the Pooh over and over and over again.
And wiggled your eyebrows at me when I felt blue.

Because you built us a dollhouse
And taught us how to use a machete.

And how to swim
to climb
to care
to give to others
And how to change a tire
and ride a bicycle.
Because you made me wear a helmet, even when I felt silly.
Because you let me drive your motorcycle
even after I knocked down the fence.

Because when I woke up early in the morning, I could see you sitting outside
coffee cup in one hand
Bible in the other.

Because still, retired, you go running with me. Or play pickle ball. Or volleyball.
Because you’re never too old.

Because you’re humble
and you’re strong

and faithful.

Because you taught me to love life. And take it seriously.
Because you cried and you weren’t ashamed.

Because you make me laugh.
With your puns.
Your poses.
Your stories.
Because you sing the words
even when you don’t know the song.

Because you can make a mistake and say ‘sorry’.
Because every time I need it, you pray.

Because you always love the view
and take a million pictures
taking pleasure in the simple things.

Because you speak bahasa like a local
and keep connected with your students.
Because you could always be interrupted.
Because everywhere you go, you’re talking to someone.
Making friends.

Because you’re my friend.

Because you ask my opinion.
And care what I think.
Because you make me brave
and want to live up to all that you believe I am.

Just because
I’m so proud to be your daughter.


4 responses to “Because.

  1. Ack! I cried! Larissa, this was perfect!

  2. Love this, Larissa! We love your dad too.

  3. This is so awesome! I enjoyed your folks staying with me this past weekend. It was like having two angels come to stay. So much catching up to do after 40 years!

    My best memory of your Dad was on May 16, 1975. Jay and I were sitting with the French doors wide open, enjoying a sunny breakfast overlooking the wide open porch, enjoying the banana and papaya trees in our enclosed back yard. It was Jay’s birthday. Frank popped in, looking tired and, oh, so very pleased! His face glowed as he told us that Jeremy Peters had been born that morning, just three months (almost to the day) after our Jeffrey Benson had entered the world. We lived two doors away that first year your parents were studying bahasa in Bandung. Our two little first-born boys looked so cute, socializing together in the yard or play pen.

    This past weekend we reminisced and shared our memories, honoring both Jay and Jeremy, now safe Home. Your poem-tribute to your Dad is such a gift. Thanks for sharing it!

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