Father's Day 2015

My dad (Papa) was the most incredible man.  I know everyone says that about their dads, especially today, but I truly had the market cornered on the most incredible dad in the world. He walked into a ready made family when he married my mom and he embraced us as if we were biologically his. Biology never mattered to him.  All that mattered was a truly special love that he had for us. Each day we had with my dad was a beautiful, precious and wonderful gift.  Every hug magically made all the problems going on disappear.  Every talk and seemingly mundane moment was special. Every single time something made him laugh out loud (not an easy feat) was a moment that lit up whatever room he was in.

He took in the world and I got to be with him when he experienced some amazing things...

He loved baseball and I sat with him when the Boston Red Sox broke the curse of the Bambino.  I sat on the edge of my seat with him when the Philadelphia Phillies​ won the World Series.  I watched him tear up and cheer for the team he loved so much.

He taught me about politics. We watched the political conventions like they were the Super Bowl. In 2008, we debated vigorously.  He was Team Hillary and I was Team Barack; both of us trying to sway my undecided mom to our side. He drove me crazy sometimes and other times I thought we would go from vigorous debating to all out arguing, but he would always have this sneaky smile on his face.  My mom would later tell me how much he loved those debates. When Barack Obama​ became President Obama my mom and I screamed, cheered, popped champagne and saw my dad begin to cry with happiness at what he just witnessed, which then caused us to start crying too.  It is a moment I got to share with my dad that I will never forget.  I got to sit with a man, who traveled the world and saw incredible things, as history was made.  It was beautiful.

He was the dad who would practice Square Dancing for hours on end, after a long day on his feet at work, just to get ready for his little girl's Father-Daughter Square Dance for her Brownie Troop when she was in 1st grade.  He was the dad who sat in a high school classroom, in unbelievably uncomfortable chairs, while both of his daughters competed in Forensics Tournaments.  He was the dad who made sure his weekends off from work coincided with the weekends his girls would be home so he could spend time with them. He is the dad that left behind his world travels in slide form for me so I can take a photographic walk in his shoes. He was a dad who loved with a heart that was immeasurable and a love so big that it couldn't be quantified. He loved openly, outwardly and affectionately.  He never missed a chance to say "I love you," give a hug, or even just a smile to let us know that we were unconditionally, immensely and completely loved.

Papa, I know you are here with each of us, just not in the way we want you to be.  I love you and I am sending all of that love to you on this Father's Day.  Take care of my son for me and tell him all about his Poppy's amazing life.

Our first photo together...I'm the one sucking my fingers and twirling my hair. 


  1. This is so beautiful Valerie Anne. He loved us so unconditionally. He came into our lives at the right moment and changed us so totally with his presence.


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