How do you describe someone in words whose not only your Dad but your hero and your best friend? My Dad taught me more that he’ll ever know. He taught me how to track, how to hunt, how to fish and how to find mushrooms in the wild even when it was still too dry according to the “experts”. He taught me how to appreciate nature, how to appreciate your family and how to respect women. My Dad taught me the meaning of bravery every time the fire alarm would go off at the station and he’d run down the street pulling on his gear.
I hated that fire station when I was a kid. I was too young to understand exactly what and where Dad went to do when the siren went off, all I knew was it took my Dad away from me. I know he enjoyed what he did, and I can still listen for hours to his stories of the fires he fought. It still didn’t make it any easier when you were young and you didn’t know exactly where your Dad was.
Some of my fondest memories are of things I’ve done with my Dad, be it fishing off the St. Joe dam for “the one that got away” or fishing out of the boat on Paw Paw lake with my sister, pulling fish in faster than Dad could take them off the hook and reset our worms. I remember him taking me to the movies lo those many years ago to see a little movie called Star Wars and being blown away from the get go. Of course he also took me to see Dawn of the Dead and scarred me for life (or at least till I was a teenager and forced myself to watch it again).
My Dad is the one person I knew who would always be there for me, in good times or bad no questions asked, I’ve been lucky to have him in my life. I know I haven’t always told him how much I love him and how much he means to me but I believe deep down inside that he knows that. He’s always there with a hug and a kiss on your forehead whenever you see him. And no matter how many times I’ve heard his stories I love to hear them again.
I don’t know how much longer I’m going to have my Dad, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer recently and is having a hard time as of late. The one thing I regret more than anything else in this world is not having children of my own to appreciate what a wonderful man their grandfather is. I never knew either of my grandfathers growing up and I’m afraid that my children won’t either. I’ll have a ton of stories to tell about him and I know the rest of my family will too but all the stories in the world can’t measure up to the great man that my father is.
I don’t know that my Dad will ever read this, I hope that he will and that he’ll know how much I love and respect him. I hope that the day that I have to say good-bye is a long time coming because I want to cherish every moment I have left with him. If you are reading this Dad, I just want to say that I love you very much and I want to thank you for everything you’ve done for all of us. You’ll never know how much just you being there for the small things meant to us. There are so many more things I could say about my father, so many stories to tell. Maybe one of these days I’ll put some of them down here to share but for right now they’re mine.
I’m sorry this isn’t the light-hearted stuff that I usually put out but I want the rest of the world (or those of you that still bother to read my stuff anyway) to know how proud I am of my father and how much he means to me. I count myself lucky to have had a Dad that was involved in my life and cared enough to be there for me through thick and thin.
I love you Dad.