Happy Father’s Day

For Father’s Day this year, I’ve decided to write a special post. I thought about doing a Top 10 Dads in Media or something like that, but I decided to go with something more personal for my first ever Father’s Day post. My dad passed away in January of 2015, so he isn’t around to celebrate Father’s Day with us anymore. So this post may end up being a sort of “stream of consciousness” piece, but it is my tribute to him.

My dad, sister, and me with our dog circa 2006

In some way, shape, or form, my dad was the one that got me started on nearly every “nerdy” interest or hobby that I had. Dad basically treated Mom like a queen and was always the first to support anything she, my sister, or I did. He also was pretty much always down for anything. No matter how exhausted he was from working and going to school full time, he always made time for us. When we were little, he would read to my sister and me and always had the perfect voice for every character. Each character had their own unique voice and even had accents based on where the book took place.

Mom and Dad just being generally cute

He would go on rides with us at the fair to make sure we didn’t get scared. He taught us how to ride our bikes, but more importantly, he taught us how to laugh things off and get back up when things went wrong. My dad was also a very passionate man and would get just as excited as we did when a new book or game would come out. Starting with book 4 (I was a bit too young when books 1-3 came out), my dad and I went to all of the midnight release parties for the Harry Potter books. We would stand in line for hours talking about our predictions for the next book and where the series would go.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince midnight release party at Borders

I owe basically my entire love of fantasy to him. Harry Potter became my family’s go-to series for reading together. The audiobooks, read by Jim Dale, became the soundtrack to our road trips. We also read Narnia and The Lord of The Rings together. When I was in third grade, already being a complete nerd, I decided to learn Elvish. When I told my dad this, he gave me his 3-in-1 copy of the series with the written language as one of its many appendices.

We would stay up late watching Doctor Who at his computer in the kitchen, or sometimes I’d watch him play Tron or Half-Life­ or the old Star Wars computer games. When we got the Xbox, we did the same thing with Fallout and Assassin’s Creed. Some nights we’d also stay up talking about anything from mythology to conspiracy theories to comic books.

Me and Dad on the computer (I don’t remember when this was taken)

Most car rides were set to bands like Oingo Boingo, or They Might Be Giants. And since his computer was in the kitchen, most family dinners were also set to music. Most often, it would be Dr. Demento or Ray Stevens. Sometimes on Saturdays, he would take me to the local Guitar Center to play the drums for me and give me lessons on their drum sets. The employees didn’t mind because he always drew a crowd when he played, and we always bought sheet music for our piano on the way out. Other Saturdays, we would go to the library or the book store and just spend hours reading together and quietly discussing our books.

Dad playing his guitar

Every winter, he would drift through our subdivision and do donuts in his little white Honda Accord. He made sure I knew how to do it safely, which ended up saving my life back in 2019. I hit a patch of black ice on the freeway going about 65 mph and spun out. I ended up spinning across all four lanes, nearly hitting the concrete walls on both sides at some point, but I was able to snap myself out of my panic and use what he had taught me. I was able to get the car back under control and stopped without so much as a single scratch on it or me.

Later on, I found out that my brakes were completely shot, so it was a miracle that I was able to stop the car at all. I’m not a particularly religious or spiritual person, but I believe that it was more than what my dad had shown me that saved my life. I fully believe that my father helped me get the car back under control. I fully believe that my father’s spirit, ghost, or whatever you want to call it, was in that car with me that day. Maybe his presence calmed me down enough for me to remember what he had taught me, or maybe he had a more direct hand in stopping the car. I genuinely do not know. What I do know is that I am alive today because of him. I am alive, and I am the person that I am thanks to him.

So thank you, dad. Thank you for everything. Thank you for always being there for me, for helping to raise me to be who I am today. Thank you for inspiring and encouraging my interests. And thank you to all of the other wonderful fathers out there that love and support their children. You mean the world to us, your children, and all of those around you whose lives you touch. Happy Father’s Day, everyone.

Dad when he was younger

Categories: Holidays, LifeTags: , , , ,

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