For my dad, who taught his children well.

Today is Father's Day. I lost mine a few years ago. And that, for a moment, makes me sad. But most days, when I think of my dad, and that is most days, I remember only one thing. Being so incredibly loved.

Something I should have told him while I could but didn't. But I do it now. I'm not much on the afterlife. Not sure what actually happens to people when they die. Except, for me, I somehow understand that they are here with me. In some fashion. I carry them with me. Their hopes and expectations. Their advice. Their unconditional love.

So. Here it is Dad. It's Father's Day. Rather it's Father's Day weekend. I think everyday is Father's Day. Really. Where would we be without you? I can see you smile at that. You always got it didn't you. You were so very smart. It was intimidating much of the time. I wasn't a great student. Not because I wasn't smart enough. I realize that now. Mostly because whatever I achieved would never be good enough to measure up to you. Then again, in your eyes, everything was good enough, wasn't it? I get it now.

And I get your temper now too. You were quite explosive at times. But never never did you hurt us. You yelled loud enough and cursed long enough for the astronauts to hear you in space though. Over the smallest stuff. I love the saying "Don't sweat the small stuff. And remember, it's all small stuff." You always sweated the small stuff. But never the big stuff. Misplace your hammer and we'd go run and hide. Smash up the car and we'd get a hug. You were a great dad that way.

I see that in Doug now. And myself. Leave a dish in the sink and the girls know I'll be pounding on their door. Close encounter with a deer and the car? Life happens. As long as they're fine, we're fine. Parenting 101.

I have a strong sense of equality and justice. That came from you too. You had this incredible sense of fairness. Sometimes of course it was just that trait that allowed us to manipulate you. Or so we thought. We'd accuse you of being unfair, and that was your undoing. Though I think perhaps now you were simply looking for a way to give in to us.

There were six of us after all. And you would have loved to have 12. Those that saw you board that 8:05 train every day, Suit and Tie, Briefcase in hand wouldn't have pegged you for family guy. But you loved your kids. Would do anything for us.

On my wedding day, as we danced our father-daughter dance, with my beautiful dress all caked in mud from a week's rain, you smiled at me and squeezed my hand. You said something then, the exact words I can't recall. I only remember you smiling and squeezing my hand. To this day I remember how I felt right at that moment. You were passing the torch. You were happy that day. I knew that.

You couldn't be there for all our weddings. I know your youngest daughter is probably crying right about now, thinking you weren't there for hers. Shedding a few tears is fine, and so I'll remind her to shed a few of happiness along with the sad. Celebrating your life rather than mourning your death is a much better way to spend Father's Day.

You couldn't be there for all our accomplishments. When your son received the highest honor of having an endowed chair of legal ethics in his name. Or when your granddaughter graduated from your alma mater. There have been many moments like that, ones we've celebrated without you by our sides.

But you were there. You've always been with all of us. In everything we do. You gave us our sense of selves. And you gave us everything of you that was good and decent. I am who I am because of you. We all are. Doug lost his father as well. And I know for certain he is who he is because of him. A good man. {Happy Father's Day John. We all miss you.}

Happy Father's Day Daddy. I love you.
And Happy Father's Day Doug. I love you too.

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