First Father’s Day- without Dad

Father’s Day 2014 was the first one since my dad died, just last week.

I look back and remember the sacrifices both he & mom made for me.  I spent most of my school years at private school, including 4 years at Military School.    We took vacations, I certainly never lacked at Christmas or birthdays.  I had music lessons.  Dad started me on flying lessons.

I remember the vacations.  Several trips to Estes Park, Colorado.  Canoeing in the Ozarks, mostly along the Current River, and in Minnesota.  The USAF Museum in Dayton Ohio.  Disneyworld.  New York City.  Oregon.  The EAA Fly In up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

He taught me, or at least tried to, about home & car repair and investing.  I wish I’d paid more attention.

I learned to appreciate the outdoors.  The beauty of mountains, forests, rivers & lakes.

I got my political leanings from him.  Probably the first political newsletter I read was Human Events.  Before the print edition stopped publishing a year or so ago, I was a 3rd generation subscriber.  He & mom introduced me to classical music like Bach, Beethoven & Mozart, and took me to the theater for shows like ‘Music Man’, ‘Damn Yankees’ and ‘Desert Song’.  I learned who The Duke was.  I heard Reagan speak at the 1976 Republican Convention in Kansas City.

I know he was proud of me in some ways.  I know he was impressed with the woman I’m sharing my life with.  I know he was happy that I’ve decided to run for political office, even at the precinct committee level.  He was proud of my academic achievements in High School.

But I think I disappointed him, too.  I’ve certainly failed professionally.  I haven’t taken care of myself like I should have.  Maybe he would have wanted grandkids.

I love you, dad.  And I’m going to miss you.  Thank you.

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