Sunday, June 19, 2016

"We Got Cake!" Father's Day Lunch at Fairport Harbor

"We got cake!"
The boys practically exploded on the scene--a picnic pavilion at Fairport Harbor Beach. "We got cake!" said Robby. A brownie cake for Father's Day. The boys, Colin and Robby, always greet you with energy and excitement. It makes you so happy and so alive.

It was a wonderful Father's Day. Linda and I went to mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in Euclid; afterwards we picked up some donuts at Buettner's Bakery on East 185th Street in Cleveland, then ate them at Sims Park, on the lake in Euclid. The lake was beautiful and calm this morning. Then, in early afternoon, we met Julia, Ed, and the boys at Fairport Harbor.

I was so grateful for being a father and grandfather today. It would have been nice to see my daughter Carolan and my daughter Emily, but gee whiz, you can't have everything.

I thought a lot about my father and my grandfather, and how much they gave to me. My grandfather, Cornelius Francis Coughlin, was the son of an Irish immigrant (his own father Cornelius) and a German immigrant, his mother Lizzie Ierg Coughlin. He was a great athlete--a very fast sprinter (the fastest runner in Cleveland, he claimed) and a terrific baseball player--in the Cleveland sandlots and in the Three-I minor league. I was his first grandchild. He was funny and fun and I really loved him. And what can I say about my Dad. He helped me in two big areas. He helped me become a good reader and student. He drilled me in arithmetic and spelling, he took me to libraries all the time, he modeled reading for me. My father also is probably the primary source of my religious sensibilities (of course my mother was important in this regard too). We thought of our Dad as a hero--a World War II hero for his four years at war in the US Navy. But more important than that was his lessons about family, work, and love.

So today I thought a lot about my father, my grandfather, my daughters, my wife, my sons-in-law, and my grandsons. Thank you God for my family.

Happy Father's Day!

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