Father’s Day

Posted on 2 min read

In 1966, the year I was born, fathers didn’t raise kids alone unless they were widowers.  When my mother left me with me father, he stepped up.  He was both mother and father to me.   

My dad was born in a small town in rural Louisiana.  He was one of ten children.  He went to Catholic schools through college and eventually finished with a PhD in microbiology.  While still in graduate school he married a woman by the name of Joan.  She is my sister Julie’s mother. I’m sure he would admit this easily, but leaving his daughter to finish his degree was his greatest mistake.  He and Joan divorced.  Joan raised my sister without her father.  When I was thirteen my sister and I became acquainted and today we are very close.

In 1960, my parents marriage, a Black man to a Jewish woman, was an act of bravery.  I was born six years after their wedding, within months they divorced. My mother left to “find herself.”  Over the years, she did…in many incarnations. 

My father is handsome.  He has dated many women over the years and to this day, I secretly hope that he will find love and companionship.  After Joan and then  my mother, he never re-married.

As a little girl, my dad did my hair, read bedtime stories, and tucked me in at night.  I accompanied him to dinner meetings; we never had a nanny.  I  would fall asleep easily in restaurant booths with my head in his lap.   He cooked dinner for me every night, usually chicken curry.   He made a brown bag lunch for me.  He drove me to school and  I walked home by myself.  I hung out alone and watched TV until he got home from work at 6pm–like clockwork.  Weekends were filled with hours of shopping at chic men’s clothing stores or fun dinner parties where I would make small talk with the adults. 

Today I live five minutes from my dad and we talk on the phone every day.  La Jolla is a long way from Opelousas, Louisiana.  He cooks dinner for our family regularly and when I walk into his house, whichever one he happens to live in from year to year, it smells like home because he’s there. 

Thanks to the relationship with my father, I married my husband.  They are alike in many ways.  Both are wonderful fathers.  My husband’s attention to caring for and loving our son is more than anyone could wish for.  When I asked my son what he loves best about his dad he said, “He’s my biggest fan.  He just loves me.”  What more can you want from your kid than to know that they are loved. 

Here’s to two dads who love and are loved.



  • Binnur
    June 20, 2009

    Terrific essay, brought tears to my eyes. Most important thing a parent can give a child is the sense of being loved unconditionally. Cheers to all the dads who do that.

  • Tiveeda
    June 20, 2009

    What a beautiful tribute to fatherhood. I am filled with emotion and the imagery of your bond. Happy Father’s Day to your two men – they are both luck to have you.

  • Michelle
    June 20, 2009

    Beautiful, Rebekah…

  • It’s refreshing to hear the praises of men being sung! In this society of men bashing, I really appreciate hearing about the wonderful men in your life.
    I was also blessed to have a committed and loving father. The quiet and loving security that he provided for our family, (several generations worth, as he is now a great grandfather of five), has made this world a better place.

  • Heidi Dakter
    October 1, 2009

    Hi Rebekah,

    We don’t know each other, but I had the pleasure of meeting your magnetic father yesterday on the showroom floor of Crate&Barrel’s Furniture Collection. I am a Sales Consultant in my current professional life and an artist of textiles and screen printing.

    Your father spoke of you and your San Diego shopping references with a gleam in his eye. I had to check you and your blog out!

    I recently relocated to San Diego from Chicago and have just begun to discover the unique boutiques of the area. Thanks for the suggestions and as you already know, your father loves you very much.