This week I’m going to take a break from Silly Sunday in recognition of Father’s Day.
It has been 14 years since my father passed away at the age of 72. My Dad was a wonderful man, a great husband, and my best friend that was always there for me and my family. I have so many incredible memories of my Dad over the many years we were together that will last me a lifetime. I also have some not so good memories when my Dad whipped my ass for one thing or another, which I know I deserved. My Dad ruled with an iron thumb both in home life as well as his business life. My Dad gave me my first job at the age of 15. I worked in a large retail store with him. I eventually became the manager of a shoe store under his guidance until I turned 18 years old and moved into law enforcement. I was managed much more harshly than all of the other employees. I was expected to excel better than everybody else setting the example of perfection in the work place. I was called into his office so many times demanding to know why my department was down figure wise than the year before. I was told that if it was not corrected then obviously he made a mistake making me a manager. I stepped up to plate and motivated the other employees that worked for me until we pulled out the best months ever in the store history. So at a very young age I was put under pressure to perform, but it was a pressure that I would gladly except again just to say “I Love You” one more time.
My Dad had a rough last 5 years of his life as did our small family. I was an only child so the stress of making sure that as my folks aged I could take care of them grew as each year passed. My Dad decided that he wanted to drink a little bit after work and ride the bus home. So in 1985 while I was getting ready for work 2 police officers knocked on my door. I answered the door and was told that my Dad was hit by a car as he crossed the expressway. I learned that he was Life Flighted to a level 1 Trauma Center in very critical condition. I was escorted to the hospital by my co-workers where I sat for 14 hours not knowing if my Dad was dead or alive. My mother arrived in complete shock. The doctor finally came out telling us that he was alive, but things were going to be different. The accident left him with a severed left leg and a right arm that over time would require 18 surgeries. I had the pleasure of telling him that life as he knew it for the last 63 years would be very different. When I told him that his leg had been amputated he looked at me and said, and I quote “Well, I have had it for 63 years so I can live with out it. I’ll be fine.” I could only stand there in awe of this man that created me and just agree. I knew that he would be fine and he was. He was released a week later and sent home.
For the next several months I came over every morning to help him go to the potty and clean him. My thought process was that I would do anything for him because he would give his life for me. I took care of him until he was capable of going to the bathroom on his own. It was actually the most rewarding time of my life.
So after battling the loss of a leg, 18 surgeries on his arm and staff infection that almost took his life, he was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. Once again I had to be strong for all involved. Cancer takes no prisoners and my Dad was no exception. He passed away on January 21st 1994, just one year after being diagnosed. I lost my best friend that day, but I got a guardian angel that will look out for me for the rest of my life. I miss my Dad but I know he is with me everyday.
I have been blessed with another gentleman in my life that I call Dad. Aza’s Dad has been a very important part of my life. He is always available to listen to me when I need to talk or just vent. His wise words are always so comforting in the most difficult of times. I have a deep respect for him and enjoy spending time with him because of his vast knowledge of just life in general. So for my second Dad I‘d like to say, “Happy Fathers Day and thank you for bringing so much joy to my life! Most of all, thank you for having a daughter that has the same gentle spirit of love that you do.” I am a lucky man to have had 2 Dads in my life.
I’m Out And We’ll Talk Later!