Riding your Memories into the Sunset!
If we could gallop on memories and ride into the sunset, my father would always be a cowboy to me! He was the most fun, most adventurous, most loving and wonderful and friendly man I knew! He'd tell me stories of the Wild West and how good always triumphed over bad, thanks to the man on the horse: The Lone Ranger. He made being a kid fun. And he made being a young girl seem like the days ahead would be filled always with fun and excitement, endless opportunities and surprise.
This #SundayFunday is also Father's Day, and I want to remember and honor the joy, pleasure, delight, and fun I had spending time with my father, David Smoller. When I was young, my dad and I used to go horseback riding together. I grew up riding the two family Palominos: beautiful blonde horses, whose manes were the color of dried straw in a field. When I was two years old, I was first placed on Bo and truly, my father could not have been prouder! He was an amazing horseback rider, and he used to work as a horse wrangler. He loooved horses, and imbued me with the same affection. I remember waking up early in the mornings, so my father and I could go for rides; we'd put on thick jeans and get ready, the sweet smell of grass filling the air.
Every time my dad and I went to the stable to visit our horses, he would take peppermint out of his pocket and put it in my hand. The horses were eating peppermint right out of the palms of our hands! I could trust these animals because my father trusted them. I am a great horseback rider as a result of his training because I started when I was really young. Even now I can hop on any saddle and feel very comfortable and confident.
On the way back from the stable we would sing along with the radio and laugh. We always stopped at this little bakery and chose pastries. Sometimes we got éclair, sometimes chocolate chip cookies, sometimes an apple turnover…all different pastries. Each week we would choose something different: the excitement of the choice, the tantalizing exhuberance at seeing all the scrumptious options, the delicious flavors of the decadent desserts each week.
It is amazing how fathers can shape our perspectives and how the activities can be not only special, but also very enjoyable and gratifying. I recently found home videos of me when I was 4 years old. I was participating in a horse riding competition and I could hear my dad in the background screaming, “Go baby, go…” I could hear the joy and the pride that he had. Not only of me, but of the horse that was giving me the chance to compete. At some point I could hear him say, “Win or Lose… That’s my baby!” A father's love is unconditional.
Once, when I was a little girl, I had a birthday party in our house. We were all playing outside and enjoying the day. My father went away for a few minutes and, all of a sudden, he came from around the corner riding a horse. He rode down the street toward our house. He was always doing things to make us happy, because that’s what life is about! It’s about fun and joy! It’s about doing your best to make others smile! Not only to have fun for yourself, but also to bring fun to others! It’s fun to be able to surprise other people. Experiences like that you get to remember and cherish for the rest of your life.
My father used to have cowboy hats and boots. He used to wear them even with normal suits and clothes. Those were the things that I kept for myself after he passed away because those things are very special to me. It is great to be able to relish memories and appreciate those around you. I was fortunate to celebrate life with my father. I know for a fact that my father was trying to pursue fun each day of his life. That’s why currently my team and I are working to create an organization to honor my father. This day, #SundayFunday, goes out not only to my father, but to all fathers out there.