Happy Birthday Dad

31 Dec

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Today my dad was born 74 years. It’s his first birthday that I’m not able to talk to him since he passed away back in June. I’ve had sad days since then, but today is especially tough on me. Last night I had my first dream where we were hanging out. Here’s the dream scene:

Playing catch…with a pineapple, on a roof parking lot located on the 10th story. I tossed a spiral to him, but he faded away before the pineapple got there. Consequently, the pineapple flew off the side of the building and landed on the street below. I was too scared to look at what kind of accident I created. There was no one around; I could have ran off and never been caught. Instinctively I knew the right thing to do to stay and accept consequences of my actions. So I stayed. I heard police sirens and I slowly walked to the edge of the building to see what I had done.

Then I woke up with a wide range of emotions. I was relieved that no one was hurt, but sad when I realized dad was gone again. Then an overwhelming sense of pride came over me and I realized that even in my dreams, I did the right thing. I am not a spiritual person, but in that moment I felt my dad was watching over me, proud that he raised a good person.

Dad had a great moral compass and always lived by the rule of doing at least one “good deed of the day.” The only law I ever saw him break was refusing to put his seat belt on. He led by example, always doing the right thing and helping me understand his reasons. Mom and the Marine Corps helped instill integrity in me, but dad’s examples of being a good person are the lessons I cherish most.

My first son was born this year and my dad died knowing the family name will be passed on another generation. My top priority is to raise my kids to be a good human beings. I take dad’s good (and bad) lessons and work hard to improve on them. The grandson that he never met will hopefully pass on this same tradition. I think dad would be proud of that.

Happy birthday dad. I miss you.

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