The very best things I remember about my dad were the littlest things.

My parents came to America during the 1956 Hungarian revolution. Like so many refugees, they arrived with one small (carry-on size) suitcase. Before the ripe age of 30, they found themselves reinventing their life together. And so the little things began.

Over the next 4 decades, I would learn a lot from their reinvention. My dad had a quiet strength (he was a Leo after all) that he consistently modeled. He was a great listener, and was always interested in what you had to share. And as a quiet man, when he spoke, I really listened.

He was also a very thoughtful man. As a little girl who loved to draw, he would occasionally surprise me with a little rubber-banded bundle of professional pencils (ranging from 6B to 6H) and introduced me to the world beyond the standard yellow number 2 pencil. I think this was his little humble way of encouraging my craft.

As little kids, we loved to grocery shop with my dad. Mom was not so keen on this weekly excursion because we always ended up coming home with bags full of fabulous extra goodies like popsicles, cookies, and potato chips. From an early age (maybe it was those early shopping sprees or maybe it was in my DNA) I was a potato chip hound. Even as an adult, my dad fostered this habit and always kept a fresh unopened bag of chips (preferably Wise potato chips) waiting for me when I came to visit. As soon as I sat down in the kitchen, he headed for ‘the chip cabinet’ and quickly popped open the bag. Always. 

Thinking back, he had so many of these little giving moments. And the best thing about these acts of kindness is that he was just so consistent. To this day, these are just some of the things that make me smile and cry at the same time. Every single time I toss a bag of chips into my shopping cart, or buy a box of “good” pencils, I think of my sweet dad.

Wishing you a very happy Father’s Day!

With lots of love, Nora

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