When I was little, my dad would lay down on the ground to ease pain in his lower back. But if I’d see him laying down like that, I’d take it as an invitation for me to come take a nap on him, and promptly fall asleep. No matter what he had to do, he would lay there until I woke up. I love this picture because it’s visual evidence of two of the best things my dad taught me, or that I tried to learn from him: unconditional love and determined patience.
I haven’t written much about my dad because the example he set for me and the influence he had on me are bigger than I could ever put into words, and I’m definitely not going to try now. He’s a hero to me in every sense of that word (except sandwich). If I end up being half the man he is–and if I can grow 1/3rd as amazing a mustache–I know I’ll have all the things a person could want. All the things I value in myself are just flickering reflections of him–a love for, almost obsession with, learning and truth, patience, empathy, and work as its own reward. All the things that have earned him the love and admiration of his family, his friends, and his community.
I can’t think of a better future than being a man like my father, except being a man like my father who can look that good with a mustache. Also one who can finally beat his own dad in backgammon. I’ve been practicing pops.