I’ve been posting about this centennial celebration all morning. My brain is aglow from the emissions from my computer. Murphy’s Law, Mercury retrograde. You name it, it got in the way. Between us on the team: we sent the wrong video; posted the wrong video and had to repost; couldn’t post on one place; didn’t know how to post on another; someone’s electricity went out; a date on the Centennial announcement was wrong. And then GoDaddy went wrong. But you know what? It’s all good. ‘Cause at the end of the day, it’s about how I remember my Daddy today, his 100th birthday.

I can hear him now complaining about all the fuss, but loving every minute of the family gathering that we would have at 44, the house in New Rochelle where we grew up. He would ask us about ourselves and tell us how proud he was and how important family is to whatever picture we had painted. He would eat his favorite food that would invariably include peanuts, okra, and sweet potato pie. He’d wrap his lips around his glass of chardonnay and take a long sip, then tell us jokes and stories that would make us all laugh. Stories we had heard before, but never tired of hearing again. He’d probably fall asleep in his favorite chair as we continued the conversation without hm.

I remember most my father’s hugs. His arms wrapped around me as he kissed my face and called me baby. I knew that, in that moment, nothing mattered more to my Daddy than me. I learned from him the value of grace especially in times of conflict and confrontation. I learned from him the power of the written word.

Today, I hear his words of affirmation. I feel the reassurance of his embrace. I sense his love for me. His pride. How blessed I am to have grown up with such a father. I know I am still wrapped in his hugs no matter how far his arms may be.

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