Friday, January 6, 2012

My Hero: April 28, 1930 - January 6, 2011

My hero went to Heaven one year ago today.  It seems like it was just yesterday in some ways, and like a distant memory in others.  For those of you who knew my father, you know what an honest, kind, gentle man he was.  You also know his highly evolved, warped sense of humor. He was the best Dad ever. 

For those of you who didn’t know him very well or not at all, here is a small glimpse of the man ….

  • He knew which restaurants had broccoli soup on any given day, and he knew how much it cost.
  • Dunkin donuts - A glazed donut and a cup of coffee.  Every morning.  And a dozen assorted for the family on Sunday morning.
  • “Horse Shit.”  It was his favorite thing to say when he disagreed with someone.
  • He loved Victoria’s butter creams (milk chocolate, not dark), and those little bags of cheese waffles.  He kept a secret stash of them in his desk drawer at the office. 
  • When in doubt, “throw a tarp over it.”
  • He cleaned the kitchen whenever he was upset.
  • He shopped for groceries every day.  Alone.  He once told me it helped him clear his head.
  • He took Taffy (our Collie-Irish Setter mix) for a walk every night.  After Taffy died, he still went for the same walk, almost every night.
  • He loved canned peaches and spaghettios.
  • Wednesday was auction day, come hell or high water.
  • He didn’t have it easy in the business world.  Because of some decisions that were made before he inherited the business, Dad spent a lot of energy and cash making good on those decisions while other insurance agents were raking in wads of money.  In the 12 years that I worked for him, I saw first-hand the way a misguided decision could affect future generations.  Enough said.
  • Many days he was so busy with his paperwork that he would forget to inhale his cigarette. There it was (Camel- no filter), hanging from his lip with at least two inches of ash on the end of it.
  • He made sure the family vehicles were full of gas, and that they were parked in the most convenient spot, according to the times everyone had to leave the house in the morning.
  • He could take a sheet of plywood and a can of pink paint, and turn it into the cutest play oven you’ve ever seen.
  • He had a highly evolved (and somewhat twisted) sense of humor, and could make anyone feel good, just by being near him.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.  He was the most generous, kind, gentle man I ever knew.  It is my deep desire to live up to his example, and to impart his legacy of kindness and generosity to my children. 

I miss you, Dad.  Save a place for me.  See you later!!

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