5 years ago today I lost my dad. It is something we all go through- losing a parent or close loved one. Not a day goes by I do not think about him. It's funny, sometimes the thoughts I have are ones brought on by something I say or do. I have a lot of my dad in me. Not all his traits and characteristics but many key ones. He taught me my love for athletics. He taught me to fish, set up a tent and drive. He taught me love for the outdoors. He pushed me to be the best I could be at the sport for whatever season we were in. He taught me to be on time or early, never late. There are many things I can take away from my dad that make me proud. There are things I can take away that are not things I agree with or understand either. He taught me nobody is perfect even if in my eyes they were. It wasn't until he dropped me off for college in Oregon until I truly seen him cry. He was my best friend. My coach. My dad.
I doubt he would ever understand the running I do now. He passed before I picked up my new hobby. It was always soccer and baseball. He would think I was crazy- which I'm sure I am to a degree. The crazy thing about running is I feel closer to him at those times than any other. Being outside in the mountains gaining elevation- I get closer. I know he is with me, he always will be. When I race, I carry a spent gun casing from his funeral- he is always there when I need the pick me up. I was presented with the flag and I can honestly say- that is the greatest honor I have felt and made me more proud than ever. He served in the Air Force and the Navy.
He did have his short-comings and so do I. He had his strengths- and I like to think I have a set of those as well. I am glad you got to meet Melony and Sami. You passed 2 weeks before my 1st daughter was born. I like to think you met somewhere along the way. Aspen will know her grandpa through my stories and my voice.
Dad, I love you and miss you. Thanks for showing me my passions. I hope to one day be the kind of father that you were. It may have been rough at times but as I grow older, I understand more. Thanks for hitting the trails with me and pushing me farther. Thanks for showing me it's not okay to stop short of the goal. Thanks for showing me that if you want something you go and get it and not wait for it.
You left too early and I may never understand why. I may still have days where I am angry. I may always feel like I could have been there more for you in your final years. One thing for sure, you made me a better person by all your traits- good and bad. We all need to make decisions and I am glad you taught me how to make those- good or bad. Most of all I hope you are looking down on me and feel proud of what I have become.
R.I.P. Dad- your little boy- Aric