path to immortality — a father’s day tribute


My dad with his dad, 1956.

We start out mere mortals,
’til “Father” turns son.
It’s then our potential
“forever” is won.

We live through our children,
and they on through theirs.
So what will we show them?
How say, “Daddy cares”?



Dad’s love for the water started early. (Dad, right, with his brother Verlin in their backyard in Riverside, late 1950s.)

Lub-dub. Lub-dub. Two kids in a tub.


It’s here I’m no expert,
but look to the best.
And he to his own dad—
they both passed the test!

With love and compassion,
through fire and through ice,
they gave with devotion,
and never thought twice:

They did what they had to,
and then they did more.
No matter the duty,
’twas never a chore.


“Da-ddy. Da-ddy. A spider!” my plea.


Grandpa and Grandma Cyphers pushing me around in a wheelbarrow at my great grandparents’ house.

From start until finish,
from dawn until dusk,
pushed past human limits,
and still they weren’t brusque . . .

But rather were patient,
and kind to a fault.
All people who knew them,
their worth did exalt.


“Lo-vely. Lucky!” they always told me.


Grandpa and me at Christmas

But of my dad’s story,
they only knew half.
I wasn’t just lucky:
My dad’s off the graph!

For me and my brother,
he’s always been there.
‘Twas never a question:
“Does our daddy care?”


Swimming in Tahoe a l-o-n-g time ago.

Love you. Love you. I know that it’s true.

From cycling, to skiing,
to talking in depth,
he’s made me who I am,
and that is a breadth!

So Daddy, I thank you,
for all that you are.
You’re no longer mortal:
You outshine the stars.


Derek and me with Dad, September 2012

  • finding the here and now (


53 thoughts

    • Lol. Me too! Hard to miss that in that picture. Oh, how times change—and then come back again! We’ve seen certain hair styles come back… Are we in for another phase of short guys’ shorts? I hope not! :D

  1. It’s always been obvious to me that your dad had an amazing impact on your life. There is a levelness, a surety that comes to a person who’s been fathered in such a way.
    Thanks for sharing your tribute.

    • You’re quite perceptive, Lucas. He really has. I feel very lucky, and I’ve told him he’s never allowed to die!… As for the rest, I know what you mean. I’ve seen it in others, too… I feel I have a long way to go to being as “sure” of myself (and a lot of other things) as I’d like to be, but he and my mom have helped to give me a good start.

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

    • Aww, that’s very sweet Professor. I’ll bet your daughter has written you such a tribute, just in her own way. ;) I can tell you’re a great dad!

    • Thank you! I actually had to rip these out of a photo album and scan them, then edit them on PhotoShop to make the whole thing come together. Thank goodness for modern technology!… I just love old photos, though. The one of my dad and his brother and their stools by the kiddie pool still makes me laugh. :)

    • Thank you, Jeff! I’m not sure of the story behind that one. Think it was just a practical way to get the job done. I’ll have to ask my dad. :)

    • Okay, Jeff. I just did some research (a.k.a. asked my dad). I guess that that picture was actually taken at my great grandparents’ house. My grandpa put some blankets in the wheelbarrow and thought it’d be fun to push me around. Oops! Sorry for the confusion. :)

  2. Jessi, thanks for sharing so many nice memories of your life and family. Very nice, sweet, and wonderful photos. ^^

      • absolutely … such emotion to be felt here… I thought your insertions of the endearing ‘child-like’ phrases was such a creative and lovely touch… very special – and a lovely tribute to your wonderful Dad! x

      • It’s funny that you say that. I only did that to break up the monotony of the poem… I tend to stick to rhythms that can get old after a while. But in the end, it turned out to be a nice touch! Thank you so much. I love your work too!

    • Well, thank you. Energy is what moves us right? Channeled along the correct pathways, it can move mountains.

      Thanks so much for reading and sharing your thoughts!

      • Yes of course, its all about energy, the only reality that is actually real!

        Thanks so much for stopping by at my blog and appreciating! I wish you well :)

    • Thank you. Glad you liked it! Yes, it would be fair to say I’m a daddy’s girl. He and I are a lot alike… A wheelbarrow? Honestly, I don’t know! For fun, maybe? Maybe they hadn’t invented strollers back then? (I’m pretty old, you know.) Lol. I’ll have to ask my dad.

      Thanks for the lovely comment!

    • What a kind thing to say. I’m glad you liked and felt you could connect to this! I must say I was pleased with it after I finally got it all sorted out. :P Thanks so much for reading and especially for commenting!

    • Wow, Tanumoy. Your comments create smiles like no others! Thank you so much. I’m glad you liked the post and images. I think they’re pretty special, too. ;)

      • And that’s why I loved them, and could connect with them… I have a word of my own, I call it “ownliness”, which means ‘feeling like your own’… that’s what I felt when I read this, very owned by your thoughts and sentiments.

        (I don’t know what I wrote, I just wrote whatever I felt…)

  3. Jessica, you make it easy to be a good father. I have been blessed beyond all expectations and reason by the richness of watching you grow up. And really, that is mostly all it took – watching :-) Thank you.

An angel earns a pair of wings every time you comment.

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