People often joked with my Dad about having a house full of girls. He'd smile under his groomed mustache, but he never said much in return. He was a quiet man.
There were four of us girls in the house, including my Mom. My Dad took us in stride. If we wanted to go shopping, he'd gladly shuttle us to the mall. After all, back in those days, the mall was the only place there had been a coffee shop. He loved coffee, therefore, the mall was a pleasant destination in his eyes. When we needed help with our homework, he didn't mind. It meant he could brew a pot of coffee, sit down, and spend time with us. He loved coffee. Because he was self-employed, sometimes my Mom would send one of us off to work with him. He didn't mind. He just got out his army green thermus and filled it to the brim . . . with coffee and off we went. When we had company over, he'd pull out his espresso machine and ask all his guests what kind of latte they would like. He loved sharing life over a cup of coffee. He enjoyed serving other people. He loved spending time with his family -- all of his girls.
My Dad loved us. We were his family. He had been raised in a house of four boys. I think he enjoyed the difference. I would love to talk to him and ask him, but he's celebrating his fifty-eighth birthday in heaven (for the ninth time). He's probably snuggling his precious grandkids that didn't make it to the earth. He's probably laughing with my Grandmother and talking about how Jesus is the answer to all the politcal problems in the world. He's probably holding a steaming Irish Cream latte that leaves foam on his trademark mustache.
We'll be lifting a latte in his remembrance and lifting a glass of vegetable juice in his honor. Happy Birthday, Dad!