He is the ultimate fixer, a jack of all trades. He hit home runs on the ball field, won races on the motocross track and built his family a home with his own bare hands. He’s fabricated, repaired or repurposed everything from houses, dune buggies and racecars to elevators, computers and wheelchair parts. He’s an expert with every tool and if you can’t find one that fits the job, he’ll weld two together to make it work. He’s been a carpenter, an elevator mechanic and the best damned boat driver a spoiled kid could ever ask for. He is my dad.
He is from the old school, where talk is cheap and you are defined by your actions. He’s never been the “I love you” type, but he stayed by my side when I was paralyzed, refusing so much as to leave my hospital room long enough to take off his ski gear that first week. And when the doctors said people like me never go home, he gave them a two syllable response. “Watch me.”
I can’t imagine how tortured his inner fixer must have felt as he left for work each morning to work on corporate America’s elevators when he couldn’t fix his own son. It’s been more than 11 years since those dark days and I hope he can now see that he never really needed to; he had already given me an amazing set of tools that have helped me become the man I am today.
Happy Father’s Day Dad. You gave me your fighting spirit, your athletic genes, your unquestionable work ethic, your engineer’s mind, your craftsman’s creativity, your razor-sharp wit and some pretty epic facial hair. We’ve never been too good with the mushy stuff, but I want you to know that I love you all the same. I am damn proud to be your son.