My father and I haven't always had the easiest of relationships. I think it's because, at heart, we're just too similar. (That doesn't bode well for the Little L, the next generation of our carbon copy, but that's a whole other story.) As pathetic as it might sound, I've spent a lot of time over the last 30 some years railing and ranting about why he drives me crazy. It's only now that he's been fighting for his life in the hospital for the last 9 weeks and is once again gearing up to do battle, this time against a potentially fatal hospital bacteria, that I've stopped to take stock of all the ways he's been a blessing.
So, while this might seem a little last words-y, please note, this isn't. I will tell him these things to his face as soon as he's well enough to travel and to come see the life I've built for myself here in California, a life he's never really had the chance to witness. You hear that dad? I have lots to show you, so giving up is not an option.
With no further ado...
Dad, thank you.
Thank you for always pushing me to try harder, to be better. It used to piss me off, but now I know it's just that you always believed I was capable of more and over the years I've finally come to believe you.
Thank you for showing me that relationships don't have to look like tv show relationships to be plenty good enough.
Thank you for showing me that parents are people too, that they make mistakes, that they don't have a rule book to follow, but that love really can be enough to get everyone through the hard times successfully. (You have no idea how much that has helped me in my own parenting journey.)
Thank you for teaching me that sometimes it really is just about the joke and that the story line isn't the only thing to obsess over. It was true when we watched Friends and it's true for pretty much everything in life.
Thank you for showing me that while tradition and decorum are amazing and important in their own way, sometimes it's more than okay to buck the norm and live your life how you want to live it, no matter what people might think.
Thank you for showing me that you can reinvent yourself as many times as you want.
Thank you for showing me that you can be passionate about any number of things and that it's okay to move on from those passions when they've been exhausted.
Thank you for always being the voice of my inner editor. Go figure, he also often tells me that he knows I can do better.
I know that I've never said this enough, but I do love you and I'll always be grateful for you.