Sunday, June 19, 2005

Happy Father's Day, Dad

These things I remember about my dad:
He taught me how to enjoy life with a good sense of humor
He had the best corny jokes
He was not afraid to be sensitive
He challenged me without pushing me
He was proud of me
He encouraged me to work hard and enjoy the rewards
He let me try new things and mess up on my own, but then he showed me how to get back on track without doing it for me
He taught me not to take things at face value, but to look things up myself if I wanted to know for sure
He took an interest in my schoolwork
He showed me how to use a slide rule (I'm providing a link because someone - a 20-something - I was talking to didn't know what a slide rule was)
He taught me how to reason and had a better way to solve math problems than the way the book was trying to show me
He could do complex calculations in his head
He was at all the band functions and always told me he had a good time
He loved my mom
He loved to bring her flowers
He helped me learn all my knots in Boy Scouts
He showed me how to set up a tent
He showed me how to start a good fire
He took us camping every summer
He cooked a mean brisket
He told each one of us that we were his favorite son/daughter (and he meant it)
He was more concerned about his impact than an impression
He cared about his profession and taught hundreds of men and women professional courses
He took life seriously but he could joke about anything
He had an opinion about everything
He let you know his opinions
He was the only one alive that could beat me in Scrabble (hahaha, Margie, you never will!!!)
He did the hardest crossword puzzles in ink
He taught me it was OK to be smarter than my teachers (well, I WAS)
He always dressed better than anyone else in the room
He had the coolest ties
He wore black silk pajamas after his surgery
He never let on that he was sick
He fought to the end
He died with a smile

I loved my dad, and I miss him deeply. He was my mentor and my friend, and I will always have his impression on my life. He didn't always do everything right (he would argue with me on that) but he did everything the best way he could.
I've recently learned some things about myself because of the close relationship I had with him. I wish he was still here, because there's so much I would still like to ask him. The problem is, I took so much for granted when he was here. Even though I knew for at least 6 months that his condition would lead to his death, I didn't spend near enough time with him to ask everything I needed to. Some things went to the grave with him, and I'll have to figure them out myself.
Happy Father's Day, Dad... I miss you.

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