I truly, absolutely, without a shred of doubt, lucked out the day they were handing out dads. He set the bar and he set it high. That saying about how daughters marry men like their fathers has a whole lot of truth to it. I wasn't out searching for an asshole who beat his kids, beat his wife, drank, smoked, cursed, etc. because my dad wasn't that.
The photo above is of my dad, circa 1970, which would make him 23. It's an old Polaroid, slightly battered but highly treasured and constantly scrutinized by me. I know my dad's history, with all its ugliness, and marvel at the handsome man posing for the camera who made it against all odds. I couldn't have asked for a better dad. He's always been supportive, loving, funny, kind, a real character, forgiving, knowledgeable and, most importantly, compassionate. He treated me like a daughter and a son. We spent many weekends changing the oil on a car, fixing a leaky faucet, watching football, grilling hamburgers, enjoying documentaries and, most importantly, how to never depend on anyone or let myself be treated badly by anyone. I learned so much from my dad and I try, every day, to be at least a 1/4 of what he is. If I can do that then I know I can sing Ice Cube's It Was a Good Day.