Some memories seem to be impressed into your mind for life. I can still picture my Dad lingering in the doorway of our dark room with the hallway light silhouetting his form as he would lean against the door frame and look up at the ceiling for inspiration. My sister and I begged him to tell us stories every night, and we were pretty demanding! He told us funny stories about growing up on a farm with lot of animals, his 13 siblings, and feisty Irish-American parents. He also made up silly adventures stories featuring him and french explorer Jacques Cousteau. Dad loved chocolate and regularly made chocolate cakes… which seemed to disappear really quickly when he was around. Dad was insanely good at basically everything. He always kicked our butts at foosball. He loved working out and Arnold Schwarzenegger movies. He could come across as quiet and serious but Dad was hilariously goofy and sentimental. He tried to teach me how to box and he used to fix my hair into a ponytail every day before school. He took us camping, fishing, ice-skating, sledding, and built us snow forts in Winter.
Later, as an adult, Dad confessed to me that he was “scared s***less” when he became a Dad at 21. I never saw that as a kid. I thought my Dad was the best dad, the strongest dad, and basically nothing short of perfect. He worked the night shift at a factory and I would sneak down many nights when he got home. He would make us both peanut butter and banana sandwiches and we would get to talk. He worked hard to provide for us. He worked hard to be a good dad.
He told me how, as a teen, he had to do his farm work before school at dawn, then school, then football or track practice, and then jogging miles back home. Even now, still a farm boy at heart: he works two jobs so he doesn’t get bored!
My Dad is still my hero. We are all older now and I eventually figured out that no one, even my Dad, was perfect. But I respect and appreciate everything he did so much. Dad- there are many Fathers in the world but I am so glad God picked you to be my dad. I love you.