My father was the person who never gave up on me in life. Due to his own personal issues, I faced a lot of pain and mental anguish but he was always there and never questioning. When I became an adult, I made the realization that he was doing the best he could with the tools he had and forgave any transgressions I had.
From as early as I can remember, he was my buddy. We did everything together. I formed a lot of myself in his image. To this day people that knew him even sometimes call me by his name.
He gave me gifts that I still treasure to this day. The love of the open road, the beauty of music and comedy and I’m just starting to embrace his love of being a people person.
He was an amazing grandparent and loved his grand daughters more than I ever knew he could. While he was nervous with Taylor, primarily because he never had a daughter. But when Amelia came around, he welcomed her with open arms. It was a beautiful thing to see them love each other in the way a grandparent-grandchild should. It was one of the things that actually gave me a deep love for having children.
Dad grew up without a father, and very poor. While he never spoke with me about it directly, I can only imagine that is why he was such a good father and provider for me. He always jumped head first into anything I became excited about and would support me in any way doing so. I often question my own parenting abilities based on his example.
He was a hard working man his entire life, working sometimes 36 hours straight while I was a child. The last decade of his life he worked in a custodial role at IU at night, while taking film classes at IU during the day. A passion he had and kept his entire life. He dreamed of becoming a Stanley Kubrick. He became a kid with the thoughts of the film making process. He loved using his grand daughters as subjects for his films.
When I got my first full time job in 8 years, dad was so proud that he made an announcement in front of our family at Thanksgiving. That would be the last time I saw my father alive.
My stepmother, for whom many of my struggles as a child were caused by did a complete turn and seemed genuine for the first time since I can remember. She involved me in much of the process, and paid for everything. She provided me with an inheritance and I am now the proud owner of dad’s truck. Most of my memories of him were of our times in a vehicle. So it means a lot to me.
We were never a father/son combo that said “I Love You” to each other much. It was just always known and didn’t have to be said. But I wanted to see it and be reminded of it for the rest of my life. So I found a card that he wrote to me while I was at a camp as a teenager, and got the words he wrote tattooed on my left forearm.
Looking back, his death was a watershed moment in my life. It was the moment when I decided that I no longer wanted my mother in my life. Even though she was the only parent I had left. It was the moment when I felt like much of the world I had built around me wasn’t as genuine as it appeared. He was the glue that held many things in my life together, without him those walls started falling.
Rest in peace dad. You star was very bright, and I know it’s shining down on me. I miss you, and will so forever.