Father’s Day: without your Father 💔

When I started writing this Blog, my dad was proud.  He was literally proud of every breath I took–so I wasn’t surprised.  He didn’t quite understand what a blog is: so he asked me to print “my book” for him so that he could read it whenever he wanted.  

It’s so obvious to me that my dad is part of who I am, it always has been.  Today:  his absence feels so heavy on my heart.  

I wish he were sitting in the living room with the mustard yellow walls wearing his SEPTA uniform.  He would be playing his guitar, and I would come running down the hall–my six year old self–in my ballerina hippo sweatshirt.  I want to go back to that time; when the man who brought me into this world showed me what it’s like to be loved unconditionally.  He showed me how the mother of his children should be treated, so that I would know what I should demand in some twenty years when I became a mother myself.  

I want to go back to that ferry that took my fifth grade class to Ellis Island and my dad–decades older than the other dads–came as a chaperone.  He wore his signature cap and his sunglasses…cameras in tow.  He was happy, and round.  I was so excited to have him there.  The Twin Towers were still there. It’s so odd to look back at the pictures.  It reminds me of the day they came down–and all I wanted was to be home with my dad.  His safety.  

I want to go back to all of my dance recitals, parades, field hockey games, plays, piano recitals, choral concerts.  I want to be cheering for the basketball team in my senior year.  I want to visit all of the activities that I did because he was there for Every. Single. One.  (Taking pictures)

I want to go back to that time I got the brush stuck in my hair on opening night of Music Man. When my mom and I took hours trying to get the brush out of my hair.  We finally cut it out–leaving my hair a chopped up mess.  I want to be there now, to hear my dad say: “it’s only hair” as I sob over the loss of my normal hairdo.  Lord knows that set me off back then–but he was right.  It was only hair.  Every parent can benefit from not sweating the small stuff.  

I want to go back to that time in college when my dad used Big Red (the house beer funnel) to put gas in my car because it was on empty.  Or the time he told me not to drink too much on my 21st Birthday and I got that over-the-glasses look of scolding when he saw my list of shots.  He said, “Victoria!” in that way of his.  I want to go back to the day I came home from the beach with a tattoo when I was 18 and he said, “it comes off, right?”–but he never once made me feel small for making choices that he didn’t approve of–only loved.  

I want to go back to that time I didn’t dance with him at a wedding when I was 10.  I need a do-over of that.  If I had him here I would dance with him every chance I get.  I’d even go back to our dance on my wedding day–even though we all know how that all turned out.  

I want to go back to seeing him light up so bright every time he saw Violet.  I want to hear him brag about how she’s so smart and funny.  

I want to go back to the few moments I was able to capture of him holding Luciano.  Even at the end of his journey, (my dad’s life was definitely a journey) he was able to comfort and calm his grandson with that magical pop pop power.  

I want to play the guitar with him. I want us to sing together.  I want him to see that so much of me is him–even more so after he’s gone.  

I miss my Dad. 

I know I’m always going on and on about moms and motherhood and all–but dads: you’re all so important too.  I know how lucky I am to have had the dad I had.  His support was worth more all of the wealth in the world.  His love of our family was second to none.  

I know my Dad is still with me.  I know he’s proud of me and my kids and my mom.  I also know that he is proud of Joe.  

I like to imagine our two dads having a Father’s Day cup of coffee. Watching us from their heavenly point of view.  Exchangeing stories of our childhoods.  My dad would thank Joe’s dad for the awesome man that he raised.  It’s not an easy task to develop the next generation of good men.  

Here’s to the dad’s.  The dad’s of the little girls–because it’s your job to teach her what her worth is.  It’s your job to model healthy love.  The dad’s of the little boys–because it’s your job to show him that emotions are ok. It’s your job to teach him respect and concent.  Here’s to the pop-pops who have stepped up to be the man in their grandchild’s life (another thing my dad did).  Here’s to the moms who are pulling double duty and being dad as well.  

Happy Fathers Day, Daddy.  I love you with my whole heart.  I miss you every day.  

Happy Fathers Day Joe.  Thank you for being an amazing foundation and role model for the kids.  I’m sure you are exactly the man your dad wanted you to be.    I love you. ❤️


My Dad ❤️

These are the words that I spoke at my dad’s memorial service.  Tomorrow, we will be surrounded by people we love, being thankful for all we have.  It will be a little sad…because the most important chair will be empty.  Dad’s chair.  I miss him so much.  But I am thankful.  Thankful for him, and for the way he raised me.  
My dad lived for 50 years before he had an awesome daughter named Victoria. As he tells it: he named me Victoria after some falls in Africa. Lynn–after Victoria. And Edwards after everybody else. The dad jokes have always been plentiful.  

I’ve heard stories from his first 50 years. About summers in New Jersey. About his band, The Davenport 5. And how he loved to teach and play his guitar in school…but also throw erasers at the students who couldn’t stay awake. The eraser thing is crazy to me…I’ve never seen my father hurt a fly…but I have several first hand accounts from former students that this was a real thing. I’ve heard stories about working at Penhurst and stories from the day I was born. Mom knew he was beside himself because he had the camera around his neck–but took no pictures.  

As for the man that my father was for my lifetime. I don’t even think the right words exist. I’m having trouble deciding on which words are the best words to share and that is wild because words are my thing.  

So I’ll start with Musical. Music was my dad. He shared his eclectic taste in music with me–and with generations of others along the way. Gospel, Rock, Country, Blue Grass, Jazz, Classical. From Frank Sinatra to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. From the Eagles to Tchaikovsky. And now: just about anything I hear reminds me of him. The music of my dad is the gift that keeps on giving.  

Humor. If you are familiar with any of the Edwards family I’m sure you’re familiar with the humor. It’s dry, sometimes unexpected. It’s driving with dad through farm town USA when he stops and points and says: “Those cows. Are OUTSTANDING in their field.” Or The constant choice of his middle finger for blood sugar testing when mom would say “Donald, I need a finger.”

Storytelling. You’ve probably heard the story of the time my dad met Dick Clark. Or about the time my high school marching band played at the Vet for a Phillies game. According to my dad–I was the only one up on the big screen that day. And now when I start to tell a story that I’ve told many times before, I smile because I know I get that from my dad. Remind me to tell you about that one time I met Jimmy Rollins in an airplane. It’s a good one.  

Pride. My dad was a proud man—but proud in that he was always so proud of his loved ones. He talked about me as if I graduated from Harvard instead of Kutztown. I was the star of the field hockey team–even though I never played varsity. I was the prima ballerina–even though I’m pigeon toed and sometimes don’t know my left from my right. Violet is the smartest most beautiful little girl there ever was. As a matter of fact, she is so smart that it’s almost like she’s not a child at all: she’s “a midget”. Ok–so I actually feel the same way about my kids. He was right about Violet.  

Compassionate. The only person I know who has as much compassion as my dad is my mom. And also probably Mother Theresa. Over the course of my entire life….and even before there was a me…my dad has been so giving of himself. He would give rides, give money, buy food and even just lend an ear if that is what you needed. I don’t even know how many different families and people have lived in my basement because they had nowhere else to go. He always saw the good in people. Sometimes he only saw the good even when it was surrounded by, and over taken by the bad. If there’s going to be only one lesson to teach your kids: it should be that one. To always find the good.  

Smart. He was the smartest man I know.  

Safe. He made me feel so safe each and every time I needed to. On Sept. 11th 2001 after I watched a plan fly into a skyscraper on live television–I called my dad. He couldn’t save anyone, he didn’t know anything more than what I knew…but I called him and I felt safer because of it.  

Unconditional love. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that my father loved me unconditionally. My earliest memories are of him asking me: “who loves you, baby?” And I would jump on him and yell “you do!”. They say, that if you want your daughter to end up with a man who will treat her right, love her mother that same way. My dad did that flawlessly. He loved my mom every day. All day. So deep down inside, even if I lost my way here and there… I’ve always known my worth.  

So, I’ll miss you daddy every day. Thank you. For teaching me how to be like you. For being the best dad in the universe. I love you.