If I could be half the man that my father was, I can still be a good man. He wasn’t a saint or anything; he was just such a pure man that touched everyone he came in contact with. What hurts me about knowing this is that it took his passing for me to understand this.
Growing up, he was like any dad to me, but to others he was an alderman, a boss, and a friend. He did what he could to support us. I got to go to ball games, travel all over Wisconsin, and follow my heart and passions. He didn’t like to judge me when I made wrong choices, and I made some bad ones, he just wanted me to be happy.
My mother had a problem with alcohol and he just loved her more. He was going to stand by her no matter what. When my mother passed away, I started to see my dad in a different light. He wasn’t just a father and husband, but he was a man. But that made him even more special to me. I moved in with him after she passed, I guess to try to support him the way that he always had for me. I learned a lot from him in those few months, his passions and his dreams. He had realized that he didn’t have to stay in his hometown anymore. He moved to Colorado to be closer to my sister and be a grandpa to her children. He wanted to be happy again.
He asked me to move to Colorado when he noticed I was struggling back home. He had told me he wanted to see me happy. So he took me to ball games and nights on the town. I met his new friends and I was happy. His friends started to express to me some concern about my father. He missed his wife. Inside he was just so sad. He died in his sleep one night, a few months after I moved out there. They told me it was a heart attack, but I knew better, it was just a broken heart.
We had his funeral back in Wisconsin. Now it’s hard to listen to people talk about your father in a time like this, but I wanted to. It was comforting to me to hear the good things my dad did for people. And after awhile I noticed that there was someone else who wanted to talk to me. He was the mayor of my hometown and had worked with my dad. He told me how much he respected my dad and he wanted to honor him by flying the town’s flag at half-mast.
Throughout his life all my dad ever wanted was to make people happy because if there is no happiness, what is left?
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