Happy Father’s Day Dad. As you would say, it's “your day”. For most of my 20 years of living, I don’t think I’ve expressed how much your kind, crazy, and obnoxious heart has meant to me. Throughout my childhood you were known as the guy that went to bed at 8:00 pm and woke up at 5:00 am just to get a head start to your day before the rest of the population did. To be completely honest, I thought you were crazy. But as the years have passed, I've grown to learn that your craziness was what drove your hard work, authenticity, and what has made you never afraid to be who you are - and that inspires me.
I’ve changed my path in life and it’s because of you. You’ve allowed me to destroy our driveway, garage, and basement, to let me fulfill a passion that, for a while, I kept to myself. I started creating Abstract art. It’s helped me express so many powerful feelings. Although, our house will permanently be imprinted with acrylic paint, I hope those markings will always be a constant reminder for yourself at what you made me become. A human that can finally let go of anything, and everything to fully be indulged within a moment with herself. To feel empowered, to express a feeling, an emotion, was so hard for to me do. However, you’ve always had a way of allowing me to let me grow to pursue a passion and to never hold me back. I’ve wrestled with a lot of terrible demons in my head that have sheltered me to not pursue certain goals. I thought they could never leave me. However, over the years those demons have left and I’ve gained self-acceptance to rise above any demon and wholeheartedly, be okay with failure. You’ve taught me to do just that.
You’ve also taught me to NEVER EVER dishonor myself just to please the people around me. I know you don’t always realize this, but I truly look up to everything you do. Once my final gymnastics season ended, I was at a loss of what to pick up. Soon, running became my new hobby. As I continued training all throughout my runs, you were always in the back of my head. Before my first marathon, you sent me a YouTube video. It was a motivational video about not giving up and following your heart. I’ve allowed myself to take things for granted sometimes throughout my life but I’ve never taken for granted the love you’ve given me throughout my running career.
Unfortunately, life has thrown us some pretty harsh times. I remember sitting in the hospital with you while mom was sick, and looking at you, and for the first time, I saw you cry. You never left Mom’s side, you were her saving grace when each day was unpredictable. You were her hero, but you were also mine. To be so strong yet motionless, sad, and ultimately in a state of unknown questions, it was at that time that I knew I needed to find a soulmate that was exactly like you. There’s a certain type of magnitude that comes along with living on a lake. You have that sense of adventure to always want to be outside and be completely free. That lingering lake effect feeling.
As a kid, I could remember the pontoon basically being my playroom, and the pier being my dinner table. There are so many memories that I can remember while on Beaver Lake, but by far the fondest memories of the lake was spending time with you. Spending time just being ourselves, not caught up in the crazy world on shore, just feeling lifted. From watching sailboat races together, to fishing on the boat, it was never a dull moment. From swimming across the lake to running marathons, doing triathlons, and achieving success in your job, I’d say you’ve officially done it all. But I know you, and I know you still have so many other things you’re going to achieve in your life. You’ve never been afraid to take a leap of faith and to jump off the edge to feel a glimmer of freedom. Happy Father’s Day Dad.