You’ll always be my hero, Pa

Today is my father’s 58th birthday. Of all the men I’ve ever known, he’s always been the yardstick I measure anyone of them by.

And no one really quite measures up.

My father writes poetry, taught himself BASIC, C and woodworking. He longed to play violin when he was a child but couldn’t afford it. He ended up finally getting a violin in his middle age and teaching himself. He’s actually a talented flute and keyboard player and speaks four languages.

Sometimes I feel outgeeked by my father. He now blogs avidly, writes better than I could aspire to (and I have two so-called writing awards), and thinks Google Chrome is awesome. He introduced me to Star Wars, the IBM PC, comic books, Tolstoy and Wilde.

He’s been the Postmaster General and his former staff still speak of him glowingly. Despite the fatc that Dad’s always been a restless vagabond and had a different job written for each of our birth certificates. In many ways, I’m my father’s daughter. Always with a finger in a different pie, mad about books, inflexible when it comes to work ethics and unabashedly romantic.

I was mad about the last guy I dated because for the first time, I met someone who reminded me of my dad. But like my father, he was, emotionally, a difficult and oft-inaccessible book. And I’m the type who will tackle a complex book without giving up, struggling through verbosity, obscure references and murky metaphors. Though that book is closed to me forever, the pages of my father’s heart are open to me now.

Knowing my father loves me, having him tell me so, is probably one of the most precious things I’ve ever received. Thank you, Pa, for helping me to value the things you can’t buy with money more than anything else in the world. I’ll never be ashamed to say that I am my father’s daughter. And I love you as much today as I did when I was a child who thought her father was the best-looking, smartest and best father in the world.

I remember, Pa, pretending to be so tired and lying in the car with my eyes shut. And you carried me out, thinking I was sleeping. I wouldn’t have opened my eyes then for anything.

Love you, Pa.

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