My Dad, Friend of many ... Dad of three ... Hero of mine

by Michelle Self
(Celina, Ohio)

Dad and his dog

Dad and his dog

My Dad lived to be 62. I, like many, could not even imagine him dying. In fact, I still cannot say he is the "d" word.

We only live 10 miles away, but I didn't see Dad for almost 2 weeks before he passed away. I honestly cannot remember if I talked to him that week before, either. Mom and Dad were busy that week. With a wedding 2 days before he passed away.

At that wedding, Dad danced like he hadn't danced in 10 years! But I was not at that wedding. I grew so tired of hearing how much fun he had at that wedding during his funeral ... so sad, and angry, that I was not there to see him enjoy it. That I didn't get to see him having so much fun. After all, he is MY Dad.

But, as always was the case, this story already has become more about me than my Dad. That is how Dad was when he was alive. He loved us kids, all three of us. The only time I saw him cry was when one of my siblings had been going through a particularly difficult time and Dad couldn't fix it. It was always about us kids. Dad had his time too ... but it was usually something he enjoyed doing without us. I think he did it that way - or he would have still been trying to do things for us while HE was trying to relax.

Dad didn't really teach me how to be a parent, he taught me how to be me. I don't forget what Dad did for me! No matter what, he loved me - unconditionally. And no one can do that without having a heart so full of love for you that no judgment, no selfishness, no anger will fit in ... only love.

And that was my Dad. He loved to debate, especially about politics. But he always did everything with a true enjoyment, a love for life, a sensitive strength, and always a gentleman.

We all miss Dad, especially Mom. And life is just not the same - not as fun, or effortless, or interesting. But I can only hope he sees us living our lives, knowing his time with us was not in vain. Sometimes we have to try hard not to let his memories get stuck in our sorrows ... but to let them live on in our hearts.

Until we meet again, I love you Dad.

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