Father’s Day is just around the corner and if you have any amount of decency in you, you’re most likely looking for a Father’s Day gift. Sure, you can go down the beaten path and get him something like a hat or shirt, but what if you go big and drunkenly wander away from the “typical” gift?
When I was growing up, my dad was the shit. He was a man’s man. A handy man, a mechanic, a comic, and most importantly, a good man. He emigrated from Europe with nothing more than a suitcase of clothes and a few hundred dollars. He roomed with a buddy and quickly found employment as a CNC operator for a local machine shop. He worked tirelessly around the clock, saving every penny he could. He locked down a safe apartment and a car and arranged for the rest of the family to fly out and move to the U.S. He made countless sacrifices to ensure that we had everything we needed.
He was a stern man, fair and resourceful. He taught me how to shoot a gun and patted me on the back after it nearly took out my shoulder. He taught me how to drive and didn’t yell at me when I backed into a brick wall and destroyed the bumper. He gave me my first beer and chuckled as I cringed at the first sip. He showed me how to change tires and oil. He taught me that every tool has a specific task and that there’s nothing I can’t do if I work hard. When I got detention for calling the teacher a bitch, he whipped my ass and made me apologize the next day. He was a rare gem.
Unfortunately, he was taken from this world all too soon. He passed away at the young age of 35 as his heart suddenly gave out. As you might imagine, I was devastated. It crushed my soul to know that the man I once saw punch a wolf in the face has disappeared from my life. My siblings were both too young to really comprehend the gravity of the situation, or maybe they were just much better at coping than I was. Without a doubt, I took the news the hardest. Just thinking about him while writing this column has me choked up.
I still remember the days prior to his death. Typical school week, having dinner and playing with my friends. I had gotten a new bike earlier that week and we worked together assembling it. Had I known what was about to happen, I would have latched on and never let go. But life doesn’t work like that.
What I’m trying to say here is that you could just order some bullshit present for your dad, send a “Happy Father’s Day” text and call it a day. But instead, you should take the initiative to spend some quality time with your father. Take him fishing, to dinner, share a beer, and tell him you love him while you still can.
RIP, Dad. Gone but never forgotten..