I have always looked up to my father. He's the one who's been there for me to ensure that I could take care of myself. He believed in me and encouraged me to find my path in life and stay true to it, no matter what it was. He's pushed me to be the best I can be. At times, yes, I would butt heads with him. But now that I'm older, I realized that he did these things to make sure I could make it in the world on my own.
He taught me how to fix cars. I would spend time under the hood with him, understanding the workings of the engine. This helped me later in life when I was looking for my first job out of college. The fact that I worked on engines helped me write repair manuals for them. I may have gone to college to write, but fixing engines was experience that my dad gave to me.
He encouraged me to play sports. We would play catch in the backyard and he would tell me, "don't be afraid of the ball. Get in front of it." He did not hold back at all just because I was a girl. He would throw a fast ball so hard that my hand would sting, but I stuck with it. I wanted to show my dad that I was tough enough to play with him. And now I can play with my son and husband and they respect that I can skillfully throw a ball.
He taught me how to handle money. He encouraged me to get a bank account from my first job, a paper route, when I was in junior high. He taught me to put most of the money in the bank and keep a little out necessities and play. Because of this, I learned to hold a job, be responsible with money, and learn work ethics.
He taught me how to cook. He made some mean dishes and one of the first things I learned to cook with dad was eggs. As I got older, he taught me how to make his home-made spaghetti sauce, kasha, kiszka, and so much more. He taught me to experiment with food and seasonings, prepping the meal to taste, and using the recipe as more of a guidelines. Of course, to this day we still tease him about the one experimental dish he made that we didn't like. But in reality, that was one dish out of a lifetime of dishes. That's not a bad record.
Even now, with his body weakened by disease, he is still a strong man. His wisdom leads the family and gives us all guidance. His hope give us all hope.
So I want to say, "Thank you, Dad!" You've taught me many things and I still have so much to learn from you.
And even though you'll grumble a bit, I'm making pictures of you today.