June 18th, 2023
On My Mind

Dear Dad

I may not have known you well, but I know a lot about you. You loved to sail, especially the Ataraxy our catboat. The definition of Ataraxy is a state of serene calmness. In ancient Greece, the Epicureans most famously sought the state of ataraxia, which they considered to be true happiness. You, also, loved to fish and camp, make beach plum jelly, play paddle tennis, listen to classical music, and watch jet trails. An esteemed aeronautical engineer, you tested what the astronauts were to eat in space on my older siblings. I was the latecomer to the family, which fractured after a horrendous car accident while on a family ski trip five years later. After a visit with you in Washington, D.C. when I was a teenager, I realized that we were actually alike in many ways and that made me feel much closer to you. And now, I see a lot of you in my daughters and I’m comforted by the knowledge that you live on in all of us.

  • So sorry for your loss, Preston. Your Dad sounds like a fascinating, thoughtful person. This is a beautiful photo. Thank you for sharing your family history. Enjoy the day with your husband.

    Laura Zinn FrommJune 18th, 2023  2:12 AM

  • It is truly comforting/fascinating to see the genes kick on in later generations. I am very lucky to have known my father for 6o plus years, and yes, he was wonderful. I am sorry that you may not have had the opportunity to know your father that long and particularly as a result of a traumatic event.

    ClaireJune 18th, 2023  4:47 AM

  • Very touching. Thank you for sharing. M

    M. SullivanJune 18th, 2023  4:49 AM

  • Beautiful to read, beautiful to see. ❤️

    JackieJune 18th, 2023  6:09 AM

  • Thank you for sharing Preston. What a beautiful family

    Sharon RozenthalJune 18th, 2023  6:39 AM

  • A day for reflection.
    Thank you

    SusanJune 18th, 2023  7:36 AM

  • What a beautiful family, I am so sorry for the tragedy that was to come. I think he would have been very proud of you and your girls.

    JacqueJune 18th, 2023  8:31 AM

  • What a wonderful tribute, thank you for sharing. I’ve said that losing my father was like being rudderless but agree that family we still have is what keeps us steady and brings joy. Glad you have that and feel it.

    SueMJune 18th, 2023  8:50 AM

  • Such a beautiful tribute to a father whom you had a complicated relationship with. xo

    KathyJune 18th, 2023  8:53 AM

  • Yes, beautiful to read, and beautiful to see. ❤️

    RMJune 18th, 2023  10:06 AM

  • Beautiful Preston. Lots of love to you.

    matildeJune 18th, 2023  10:43 AM

  • Thank you for sharing this with your readers. Your father sounds like one of the most interesting men in the world.

    M. Kirk OkayJune 18th, 2023  2:44 PM

  • Such beautiful words, I hope it was cathartic to write them. This is a hard day when we don’t have our Dads to call and celebrate, but they are always near to our hearts.

    MGJune 18th, 2023  3:03 PM

  • What a beautiful photo! I am sorry for your loss.

    Kate WinerothJune 19th, 2023  9:03 AM

  • This is truly beautiful and comforting. I wish I had known him.

    Lisa EastmanJune 19th, 2023  10:30 AM

  • What a beautiful expression of love and appreciation for your father! Remembering our parents’ stories is so important. I owe a debt of gratitude to my father, my grandfather, and to my husband, who is a phenomenal father himself! Thank you, Preston, for sharing such a personal tribute.

    PaulaJune 19th, 2023  4:14 PM

  • Upon closer look, I can see what your emotional reference is to Fair Isle patterns. I’ve always felt that women who take great pleasure in dressing have an emotional connection to their clothes – whether it’s a personal thing or an unrelated visual image (say, the old Audrey Hepburn movies for me), we are drawn to things that ‘speak to us.’ I also recognize the little rubber toe sneakers (Keds?). I wore them for play in childhood and then put my children in them as well, even though brand name athletic shoes were just coming on the scene – Nike and the rest. I disliked them from the get-go because I couldn’t stand putting brands/labels/advertising on kids. That ship has certainly sailed…

    PaulaJune 19th, 2023  8:09 PM

  • I just caught this post. Wow, so touching and beautiful. Thank you for sharing something so personal.

    AprilJune 20th, 2023  12:32 PM

  • Ditto to what April said

    GiuliaJune 25th, 2023  5:06 PM


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