I am very thankful for today. It has been a decade since my dad passed on. His grandchildren have grown quite a bit, though he never met them on this level. We still talk to my sons about Papa Gerry. He would have loooved being a grandpa. LOVED IT. I am thankful I was born to him. He was 65.
It was awful and unfair to watch him go. My mom’s strength and faith and grace carried the little boy in me that sobbed when I’d get back in the car after visiting him at the care facility he was moved to. It was better for all of us. He had been wandering away from home, usually to church, and usually during the middle of the week. It was unsafe and harrowing. My mom had the right and hard decisions.
I am thankful today because of how he Parented. Those years I had with him, not knowing they were so gravely important to who I was trying to become. The lessons I have from his examples of parenting are numerous and pop up like pre-programmed cues when my kids start acting up. He was being Dad, and probably a Teacher. Sometimes he was far too easy on me. Other times he played it so straight for discipline, and I was so disappointed in myself for disappointing him, that the lesson seared itself into my DNA. I am grateful he did it his way.
In the 10 years since he died, I have seen some of the most amazing achievements that I think he would have been proud of. I have worked on major projects that millions of mobile phone users take part in. I met and married the perfect-for-me Woman, a fiercely strong and beautiful spirit in a gorgeous human. I performed for thousands of people at the Moore Theatre in Seattle, and the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery ahead of Earth, Wind and Fire. I have coached 3 different sports for dozens of kids. I have two healthy, happy, hilarious boys that he would have loved to sit back and laugh with and about. It’s been a great 10 years. I wish he had been here for it.
I am thankful today, for my days. It was a beautiful Fall day in Kirkland. My boys and I walked from our house to their school about a half-mile away, picking up garbage along the way. We found a lot of cigarette butts, mini bottles of vodka (empty, sadly), and a lot of Halloween candy wrappers. We played soccer for the 2nd day in a row, and snacked up in between the game and walking home. I hopped in for a couple rounds of Xbox-ing. It was a great day. I wish their Papa Gerry were here to be part of any of it. But I carry him with me, so in a way, he is. I am grateful that I was his son. I was very lucky.