On January 22, 2022, my Dad died. My theme, “Letters to my Dad” is based on random thoughts about him and the aftermath of not having him around anymore.
I have yet to meet someone who didn’t like you.
Maybe it was because you never pretended to be anyone else but yourself.
Maybe it was because you never thought you were better than anyone else.
Or maybe it was because you tried to take people at face value without judging them until they proved otherwise.
It is only hitting me now that you were skilled at meeting people where they are and you probably didn’t even know it.
The rare few who didn’t like you (and I won’t name names 🙂 ) were simply jealous of how rich you were in family and how prosperous you had become in your career and life.
Yeah, every one liked you.
Like when I transfered into the junior college where you were teaching halfway through my college years…
The campus was large enough for no one to know my last name and that I was related to you so whenever your name came up in conversation with other students, you were considered one of the “good teachers”. The one with the funny stories that made them laugh or reflect.
I would let those students talk, talk and talk some more just for the hell of it to see what they would say:
“Mr. Matthews is a cool dude”.
“Oh my god, the sayings that come out of his mouth are hilarious.”
“Mr. Matthews has a way of explaining things that makes it easy to understand the material.”
I smiled and kept my mouth shut about being your daughter. 🙂
And even when it came to our annual beach trips to Puerto Rico, never once did you pay for a beach chair rental. The guys who worked the beach took a liking to how you remembered things about their lives and family when maybe they were invisible to other tourists.
And it didn’t hurt that you impressed them with how fast you could crack open a water coconut with a machete much faster than any of them could. 🙂
Unlike many others we know, there was never an ulterior motive behind your niceness.
Dad, you were simply just an all-around nice guy.
Loving you always,