I last saw him on April 27th, it was a great visit. His days weren’t always good, but the man I spent time with during that brief stay was my dad through and through. I will be forever grateful for that.
My dad was one of the good ones, I got lucky. He was always there and put family first—a quiet, firm, presence in my life. He wasn’t afraid to say I love you, let us know when we’d done wrong, or to give a strong hug. He taught my brothers and me the value of family, taking care of the things you had, and to not ever stand too long with the refrigerator door open—after all he wasn’t paying to cool the entire house.Dad loved the outdoors; I remember as a kid learning what it meant to “play hooky”. He’d called in sick to work, I got to stay home from school (and maybe a brother did too? I don’t remember how old I was) and we all went out somewhere hiking. I think that’s when I learned the importance of taking a mental health break.