Chapter 25: Big Red Apple

Here's to the time of year when you're supposed to know what to buy our dad's for father's day. Mom and I attempt to go the stores to find something that you would like. But I've come to a realization: 

Things are fleeting; they don't matter in the end. So why should I keep struggling to find my father the perfect gift that sums up how much I love him, when no material object can communicate that message. This is how my dad operates: he opens the gift, maybe smiles and throws it to the side or complains about it taking up space in our house; tell me how I am supposed to please Mitch Romasko? So here's how i resolved this issue. 

I decided to create the "travelers sentiment." This is a simple thing that can be taken everywhere you travel, dad. When you're sitting in your hotel room during the week, please pull this out when you get lonely. My goal is to forget all the things that you don't need and enhance certain qualities of our relationship as father and daughter. Read carefully, and maybe read it a few times so you catch everything; you may even crack a smile? Here it goes: 

He reached into the back seat and stuck a large, juicy apple in my tiny five-year-old mouth. I struggled to make the first bite but eventually gulped and swallowed until I was at the core of that fruit. I got out of the car and waved goodbye as he departed for his next destination. Each week brought a new place where daddy went. He always came home and brought a bag that was dedicated to me; in it contained gifts ranging from trendy Vegas purses to cool beads from an Amish shop in Ohio. They were objects of beauty and always appealed to my youthful eyes. No gift ever surpassed the hug that followed shortly after he walked in the door though- I always loved having dad right by my side to give me hugs, (and more apples of course). 

He'd come home just in time for the weekend. If it was summer we'd venture to the farmer's market every Saturday morning. He couldn't resist the big eyes that begged him for such stupid trinkets that would collect in my room for months on end. He'd bag up fresh fruit and vegetables while wearing his ole baseball cap and athletic shorts. As soon as we got home he'd kick off his shoes and head straight out to the backyard to shuck his corn or tend to the yard. I would play around until I smelled the delightful aroma of his cooking- then I knew it was time for dinner. His cooking was, (and still is) the best part of the whole week. 

As I grew, I said goodbye for days at a time never fully understanding why work meant leaving. It always broke my heart if he missed a band concert or a dance competition, but I knew it broke his too. The time we did have together became more special as a I grew older. I found that we were so alike as people; I inherited his love for people and interest in commerce. Aside from our endless bickering throughout my high school career, he did see potential in my craft. Dad always had my back- that's one ting about him to be jealous of. Despite how often he was living out of a suitcase, he made it known that he'd ALWAYS support and encourage me to chase my dreams. 

I grew into a girl concerned with business, fashion, art, innovation and people; the interest in these topics stemmed from my father's interests. We pick the same places to eat, (but always order vastly different things) and notice everything about design, to menu wording, to color choice...we think very similarly. I always watched him do business, getting salesman of the year twice! and excel at everything while being a college dropout. He installed this, "anything is possible" attitude within me that has lead me to where I am today. 

He would never fully grasp the idea of creation and fashion...but he always tried! And boy, Mitch Romasko has style. As he sent his little girl away to Savannah, he hugged me tight and said, "I'm proud of you, just do your best." What little girl doesn't want to here that from their dad- their hero? 

I automatically reach for the biggest red apple on the shelf at the grocery store. I think of dad- I think about how much he cares for me and how much he loves me. I'm not sure if he knows it, but I aspire every day to follow his lead and live my life with motivation and drive while also taking risks and having fun. How do we even thank our fathers for their support? No gift could ever tell you your worth dad. I'm sorry I'm not there to give you a large hug and let you talk to me like your little girl- I owe ya. Love you lots dad! Happy father's day. 

xoxo, 

Ash 

Take a moment to give your dad, or father figure a hug and tell him how great it is to have him walking through life with you- it's his big day!