My Dad was a hero in a number of ways.
He survived losing his Dad when he was only 13 years old. He, his brothers, and his sister went on to be strong and incredibly ethical human beings.
He went to war when he was 19 and piloted a B-17 bomber at that age.
Then, he returned from war and struggled to find his path. A try at college, some jobs he thought beneath him (he regretted his stubbornness later) but he hung in there even through some tough years as a business owner with long hours and hard work.
Shortly after he and Mom bought their first house, he lost a job he took when he left his station business. Must have been a terrifying time with three girls and a wife depending upon him.
But, he hung in there and the job of his dreams came to him. He spent a number of years in this job. There were promotions and good friends in the business. He enjoyed his work.
But, with one daughter out of college and married, another in college and the third about to enter high school…he began to have difficulty walking. He soldiered on and was eventually diagnosed with MS. He worked as long as he could and retired to disability several years later.
He rarely let it get him down. He was always the one the rest of us depended upon…for a joke, for advice, for the truth (even when it hurt).
For 30 years he dealt with it. As he slowly lost the ability to use his legs, and then his arms, and ultimately fought to use his voice. He dealt with it.
He loved my Mom and us without reservation (although he shook his head at times….at other times drew us aside to give us some of his truth). For the last seven years of his life he lived in a nursing home and the staff came to depend on him for a joke, for advice, and for his truth.
There was never a stronger man, a better man. He is my hero.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.