My father was born on this day, March 21st, in Cambridge, MA. Today would have been his 99th birthday. That seems like such a large number but it is what it is.
We lost him 35 years ago to Mesothelioma and I still miss him every day. While I miss him and wish so badly he could have seen my kids grow up and met my better half, I also thank him every day for all he gave me.
I was only 23 when he passed and unknown to me at the time, he had already left his mark on me. His moral values, love of the outdoors and his passion for teaching (coaching) among many other great qualities he possessed, run deep through every part of my soul. I am a better version of him. That may sound a bit vain but I think every good father wants his children to be better versions of him. I know that is the case with me, 100%.
I was not an easy child to raise and I have always been regretful of what a handful I was as a teen. That being said, it was a necessary part of the process in my personal evolution. I made mistakes, lots of mistakes, and eventually I started to learn from them. I have come to realize, especially over the past year, that the journey is what is important. It is not about reaching a specific point in our lives but rather all about how we got there. All those experiences, people and places are what form you over time. Never a completed project, rather always a work in progress that hopefully gets clearer as time passes.
So thanks Dad for giving me so much more than you every thought you did. Even though it has been 35 years, I am still learning from you and I am forever grateful.