But what a man. What an extraordinarily kind, humble, gentle-spirited man, my dad. When I think about my life and what I want out of it, I'm tempted to say, "I just want to do something to make my dad proud." But my dad was, interestingly enough, proud of me. He loved me a lot, beyond all reason. I don't mean to be self-deprecating when I say "oddly enough." It's not that I've led a terrible life, of which I'm ashamed, but I've certainly done enough in my young 27 years to cause him disappointment. And sometimes he was disappointed, saddened by the silly, self-destructive choices I have such a tendency to make, but he understood. He knew just exactly what it was like to be human, to have two choices before you, and to choose the very obvious mistake. He knew that I had done just that, and that I would continue to do so, 'til the day I die. He even knew that I would sometimes disappoint him, make him sad, make him mad, choose poorly. And he would always let me. And he would always, always tell me he loved me. Not just tell me, but convince me, too, with those honest, tender eyes.
What a beautiful man, my dad. Happy birthday, Dad. Can't wait to see you again.