I was lucky enough to have this man as my father. He wasn’t perfect, but he had a zest for living and he let his children know that they were loved. I don’t have many memories of being reprimanded by my father. I do have lots of memories of him going to bat for me, helping me do the things I wanted to do, of him rubbing his five o’clock shadow on my face when he came home at the end of the day, and of many days just riding around in the truck with him. He was the life of the party, a friend to everyone. After all these years, I still miss him terribly. I lost both my folks when I was 12 years old. People tell me that must have been so hard. I suppose it was, but it is what it is — just life. Just my life. As Nietzsche said, ‘that which does not kill me makes me stronger.’ Sometimes I think I would give anything just to have my folks here again, but then I think that I am just grateful to have had them for the time that I did. In my mind they are still young, vibrant, and wonderful people. They’ve not grown old, become forgetful, burdensome, cantankerous. I have, however, missed my mother’s singing, and the feel of my dad’s whiskers on my cheek at the end of the day.