Last year on Mother’s Day I shared some of the things I appreciate about Mom and this year I decided to do the same for you. I know I’m not very good about verbalizing these things (and I’ll bet you know where I got that) but I hope you know that I love you and am glad you’re my dad. Here are some of the things I am thankful for:
1. You were always a good provider. I had everything I needed, most of what I wanted, and never knew financial insecurity.
2. While Mom was the one who initially taught us kids to drive on the dirt roads of Mountain View Acres, you were the one who rode with me on real streets after I got my permit. I recall the day I was driving to school on Apple Valley Road and looked away from the road for something (adjusting the radio, perhaps?). I drifted out of my lane and was startled when my eyes returned to the road. You remained calm and never said a word.
3. You also taught all of us kids how to drive the boat on our trips to the Colorado River.
4. Whenever Mom and I would head to the mall in San Bernardino you’d hand me a $20 bill to spend on whatever I wanted. I always understood that this was an affectionate gesture from someone for whom hugs didn’t come naturally.
5. I remember those Saturday mornings when, out of the blue, you’d say, “Let’s go to Disneyland.” We’d scrounge up all the leftover tickets from previous visits (back in the days when you had to have a ticket for each attraction) but you’d still end up buying more because all the good ones had already been used.
6. Even though you didn’t always get to stay with us for the whole trip, you took us on family vacations every year. It couldn’t have been much fun for you since you always had to bring a lot of paperwork along but the gift of travel during my childhood is something I treasure.
7. You’ve always treated David like one of your own. You gave him a job and helped him buy his first car. Before he got his license you would “just happen” to be driving by every afternoon as he was walking home from school, pick him up, get him something to eat and drive him to work.
8. You were always a hard worker and by your example taught all three of us a good work ethic.