Thank you for being both my anchor and my sail.
When I was a kid I remember watching a lot of different fathers on television. Growing Pains, 7th Heaven, Boy Meets World, The Simpsons. Those are all shows that showed me what a modern suburban dad was. Coffee and a newspaper in the morning, 9-5 job, crack a joke, play with the kids, kiss the wife, start over. From a very young age, I knew my Dad was very different.
I have the same kind of memories a lot of people probably have from their childhood. My Dad napping on our couch with the remote in his hand watching the game. My Dad teaching me to throw a ball, ride a bike, or tie a knot. Those are pretty normal lessons every kid learns, but in my world. That was only one side of our lives. The other side was my father whisking us off on a plane to something spectacular.
I have memories of my father sailing a huge catamaran across the ocean with me sitting on his lap. Standing at the top of the Eiffel Tower when I was 5, in the same city he had lived many years earlier when he was in college. My father is a doctor by trade, but if anyone asked me to describe my father, that wouldn’t even be the first thing I’d say.
He’s an adventurer, a captain, a loyal friend and a fierce foe. He is a man who made something of himself, who fought for what he had. He’s incredibly successful, and incredibly generous. He taught me that memories mean more than anything I could purchase. He told to have pride in what I do and stand up for what I believe in. We don’t see eye to eye on everything, but in any argument we had, I learned something.
If you’re lucky enough to be sitting at a bar, a coffee shop, or anywhere with my dad, you should listen. That man has led the life of 100 men. Constantly going out into the world and making his stamp on it. I am in awe of the tenacity and hard work he puts into anything. I will never forget what he told me constantly as a child, “If you say you’re going to do something. You do it.” I’ve carried that with me into my adult life and took for granted what it really meant. In a world of people that will let you down, lie to you, or manipulate you he was telling me that words without actions were worthless. My dad worked harder in his life than anyone I’ve ever known. He missed out on a lot with his family because he was building a better life for us. I truly hope he knows how grateful I am for everything he provided for me.
My Dad is larger than life in every way. A man who fought to succeed in this world, traveled it, soaked it in. He didn’t tell me about the world, he showed me. I don’t know if I’ve ever thanked him enough for the knowledge and humility traveling gave me at such a young age, by the time I was 10, he had shown me the world. My father is retired now and travels the world with his best friend and my step-mother. I’m thankful every day he has her.
If you’re lucky enough to have a father in your life hug his neck and appreciate him.
There will be a day when all you will have is memories.