Leaving Notes, Leaving a Legacy

We lost a giant. My father passed away after a long battle with heart disease. He built a family despite failing health and PTSD after a trauma suffered as a kid. We are a lot alike. He had an eclectic set of interests and enjoyed the game of trying something new. He loved painting Bob Ross-style paintings, playing online poker, collecting pens and notebooks, and watching horse racing. And, boy, could he talk. He loved sharing stories of his adventures and boasting about the milestones and achievements of his kids, 10 grandkids, and one great-grandkid. Every nurse that I met over the past few months knew all about what I was up to. My dad had a way of building instant connections with people and figuring out the precise way to give you encouragement.

After college, I made some risky life choices. I made mistakes. I partnered with the wrong people. I kept trying to figure out what I was going to do with my career and life, and my dad was one to let me talk it out with him. I didn’t have anything to show for my effort. On a visit back home, I found a note in my childhood bedroom. He often left me notes. It was the few times that he would actually write with one of the hundred pens that he collected. I have saved this note for the past 25 years.

Note From My Dad

I didn’t deserve this note, but I sure did need it at the time. Again, I couldn’t have been any lower. I was seemly making all of the wrong moves, but he was proud. Our family lost our biggest cheerleader. I now face the rest of my life without him, without the quick chats about how bad the Steelers are playing, and without the long talks about old Seinfeld episodes. Everything that he did for me and our family will live on as a legacy. It will be impossible to unwind his influence. I love you.

P.S. from H.S. I never did get that John Lennon CD back.

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