80

Today my dad would have been 80 years old. I can’t believe so much time has passed, and how much of my life he would have seen. Just thinking about having children, moving across the country, changing jobs and working through issues, enjoying holidays, and certainly spending time on the golf course. I can’t help but appreciate what my father has done for me, the struggles he must have had, the issues he must have thought through, as I walk along the same path, only separated by years.

There are the moments that are burned into memories that inform, inspire, and bring me the warmth of being back and smiling at the time we had together. Memories like driving with me to Texas for my first college year, making a place for me to keep my boat and trailer at his house, faking a car wreck to give me a new bike in his trunk, pretending to be an alien when he was going outside after dinner, or confronting a rude restaurant host with grace and conviction.

What hits me today is how my father always supported my oldest brother, who went through many trials – some of them literally! When many of us had written off, or at least not been as involved in the what was happening, my father was always there, doing whatever he could to help, showing his love through action, and never giving up. Never giving up, showing unconditional love. I am sure that my brother felt, for better or worse, that my dad had his back. Now as I experience issues and trials – not literally – with my children, I find that extra gear just like my dad did, where there seems to be no bottom, no end to what we will try to make things work.

It may take years for my kids to experience the feelings that I have right now, and that’s okay. The memories of my dad will live on in me forever, and I am glad for that. Just yesterday Marlo told me that she grunts just like I do, and I had to smile, not because we grunt, but because she has started to recognize that I am part of her, for better or worse.

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