|photo by Sergey Nivens via Adobe Stock|
|Dad as young soldier, family man, and fisherman.|
My mother worked nights and Dad watched over us. We played games, swam in the city pool, worked in his wood shop, tended to his garden, and listened to Red Sox and Bruins games, or the classical music he loved: Bach, Beethoven, Mozart. I grew up in a musical house. The last gift he gave me was an acoustic guitar, and he took me for lessons every Thursday night. It was precious time alone with him, sharing something we both loved. Foolishly, I gave up on the guitar shortly after he passed.
My father went to work every day, six days a week, to a job he didn't always want to go to, but he shouldered his responsibilities like a man and made sure a paycheck came home with him every Friday night. He was a daily presence in his children's lives, doling out love and fun generously, and discipline reluctantly. He shared what he loved with us, and taught us an appreciation for many precious things: nature, music, family. He gave of himself, his time, and his talents. Toys and trinkets would never make up for his loss.
We thought we'd have him forever. His death was a shock. But he left us with something not everyone gets, no matter how long they have their father: The blueprint for how to be a great dad.