Thank You, Dad…
Thank you, Dad, for adopting me, and for always carrying me high on your shoulders, making my three-year-old self feel like a tall princess. I can still remember the feeling of patting the top of your head, your dark hair stiff with the Aqua Net Mom liberally sprayed to make it lay right.
Thank you for building me that beautiful play house, and the rabbit hutch, and the cage to protect my menagerie of cats, and the homemade ice rinks, the zip line across the yard, and the swing on the tall oak. The Japanese bridge you built across our creek was your true coup de grace.
Thank you for building me my first corner desk with matching bookcases. They were your gift to me for my eighth birthday. I spent hours sitting behind that desk learning to draw and write. I hope my younger self had enough awareness to tell you at some point how much I treasured it.
Thank you for demonstrating your steadfast faith, in your own quiet way, through your many acts of service.
Thank you for all of those camping trips, for passing on your joy for adventure and your fearless knack for finding the back roads route to any destination.
Thank you, Dad, for always providing for us. You never let on how dire things really were until later in life. Because of your hard work and your lifetime of holding down two jobs, we never missed a Christmas, or summer road trips out west, and by some miracle, you even got me through college, saving me from the burden of student loans.
Thank you for always being the only volunteer to take those long horseback rides with me on our family vacations.
Thank you for teaching me to fish, and more importantly, how to clean a fish.
Thank you for getting up in the middle of the night so many times to drive this bratty 16-year-old home from my closing shifts at McDonald’s.
Thank you for teaching me to waltz.
Thank you, Dad, for helping me pick up the pieces during my many failed attempts at adulthood.
Thank you for being such a wonderful grandfather to Jack. He has watched you age with dignity, and you’ve taught him well how to respect the vulnerable among us.
I told someone just this past weekend that I was “adopted into the right family for me,” but that comment is more profound at this moment, knowing now that our time together is so finite.
I fucking HATE cancer.