The first born daughter is always the female version of her dad.

Father’s Day celebrations approach and I’m sad that my dad isn’t alive. Yet he’s not forgotten, forever in my heart.

We brought him to California a year after my mother died (see the date on the photo – plus, do you think we look alike!). We took him to Sherman Gardens in Corona del Mar, an outing that was simple, nearby, and perfect to revive his joie de vivre, for he loved all things gardening, a son of a farmer to the core. He was smiling within a half-hour of being immersed in the aroma and the sensual presence of flowers.

When we returned home (a twenty minute drive) he helped me to plant the flowers we purchased. It was a singular moment – the first time he’d voluntarily participated in anything ‘normal.’ Here’s a blog post written near that time:

I was born to be funny – it’s in my genes. My father was a renowned practical joker and I was a whippersnapper. It wasn’t work for either of us to be that way. ‘Funny’ was in our genes, inherited from his father, my wise-cracking grandad. I’m happy to be in the wacky, pun-loving Jackson clan.

My father would be very proud of me if he were alive today… He hoped that I’d write a book, a tome in my field of speech-language pathology. I had the wisdom and skills from teaching at Purdue University and, later, writing thousands of clinical reports in my private practice.

But I chose a somewhat different path to apply my writing skills. I combined my fanciful imagination and my sense of humor to write four books in my Faith, Family, Frenzy! series. Those books are set in the Midwest, where I grew up, as homage. A sort of memoir if you will.

I honor my father – and my mother – with skills I inherited and they actively nurtured.