I know I am a day late on this, but I was traveling this past weekend and wasn’t able to write it when I wanted to.  But I have been thinking about this for a while and now I have a good reason to write it.

My father is for the most part a quiet man.  Around the family friends he jokes and has fun, but he happens to have the loudest most rambunctious children in the world, so he is just about always in the background. And it is what he does while in the background that is so amazing.

We have a big family. My dad never went to college, and so finding a career as opposed to just a job is something that was hard to do. He got married and got jobs doing what he could. For several years he was an exterminator. Killing pests is not something that I imagine could be very fun, but he did it anyway, knowing that he could make enough money to support his family. Eventually he got a job as an engineer (something that I still don’t understand, seeing as he didn’t have a degree, but hey…kudos.) That job made it so that he had to stay the week in another state and would come home on weekends. Yes he was able to support the family, but he hated being so far away. So, he set up an office at home and worked from there so he could be near us.

He has always sacrificed to make sure that we had what we needed, and often what we wanted. I remember him staying up late one night to help make some pretty cool Halloween costumes for my my sister and me. Sure he had to be up early the next morning, but that didn’t matter. He wanted us to enjoy the consumes and know that we had something special.

He often worked outside in the cold fixing a car that was having issues. I used to think that he loved fixing cars. Apparently he doesn’t. Now that I know that, I think on all of the hours that he had to endure in the heat or rain or freezing cold. But it was worth it to him. He knew that it would allow us the opportunity to go where we needed when we needed to. Or just that we would have a car to take to a friends house so we could hang out.

I could go on and on with stories like this. The point is, he has constantly sacrificed and done all he could to make things wonderful for us, and not once have I ever heard him complain about it. He has always done what had to be done and took pride in his work, knowing that it made our lives better.

My parents and I have had our rough spots. I think my dad took things pretty hard when we talked about my attraction to men. He probably didn’t mean to, but not long after the “big talk” I felt a distance grow between us. I felt like he was ashamed of me and embarrassed by my homosexual feelings. Eventually we talked about it, and I have noticed a big change. He has made an effort to let me know that he loves me and that he is proud of my accomplishments. Yeah, sometimes it’s a bit cheesy. But that’s my dad. And I appreciate that he had done what he feels he needs to do to fix this.

He is a hard worker and a good man. I am grateful to have him as an example. You guys don’t even know how jealous you should be right now. For real.