Thursday, April 2, 2015

Dear Dad, 'Because of You'

Dear Dad,

I know when you passed away, the idea of being a grandfather was likely wasn't even a twinkle in your mind. A friend of mine mentioned recently that she thought it was a great tragedy for a child to grow up without a grandparent close at hand, but honestly, I never really saw it that way. To me, The Bean will know you - even if he/she never gets to meet you. Too much of me is made up of what I learned from you for you to ever truly be absent from his/her life.

My Sailor and I, Index, WA, June 2014
Because of you, I married this awesome goof ball. You approved immediately - and you were right. He drives me nuts sometimes, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There is a quiet strength about My Sailor and I - that 'giving up is not an option' mentality that I recognize. I recognize it because I got to see it you and Mom.
Because of you, I am incredibly patient. I think that's a skill that has done me well over the years, and likely something I picked up from you. I've learned there is a difference between being patient, and being a doormat. I've learned to remember that words have power.

Because of your love of travel, I will always be restless, with a slightly overdeveloped healthy sense of adventure. Even when we were paycheck to paycheck, you made sure we got out and saw the world, even if it a local adventure. Because of that -  traveling, from luxury resorts and fine dining...
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, HI, July 2014
to daring adventures...

Shark Adventure Clip 1
Clip 1
Posted by Jay Humenay on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

to exploring the wilderness...
Lake Crescent hiking, June 2014
and theme parks...

Downtown Disney, California, 2013
will always be part of my family's life. Sure, it might mean we carry a little but of debt into eternity, but that is little cost for an expanded world view.

Because of you, I have silly, always affectionately intended, names for things and people occasionally. I think you might have beaten me to nicknaming The Bean, but because of you I have the patience not to rush and put a name to someone I've yet to really meet.

Because of you, I went to the school of hard knocks and opened my own business, understanding that it's better to be happy and give back to the world than live in pretty golden handcuffs. So, because of you, I get to empower people to change their lives every single day. Though you never got to see me as a strength competitor and coach, I have no doubt you'd approve, and applaud the whole way along.

Because of you, The Bean will end up knowing about such inside family jokes as 'Bob and Billy' and 'Sam the Snake'. Those little things I grew up with that I (eventually) rolled my eyes at are now part of the family legacy.  A child doesn't need to meet their grandparents to know them.

Because of you, April 1st is no longer 'April Fools Day' - but instead, it's the day I said my last 3 words to you in this life. I was lucky enough that they were "I love you, goodnight." Some people never get that much.

A lot of things in life shape us into the people we are today. My impending parenthood helps me reflect on that and truly absorb that. 

Because of You, it's a little easier to be me.

Brother, Dad, Mom, Me, and My Sailor, 2012

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