Sunday, June 17, 2012

Proud to be a Product

Priority one ... Happy Father's Day to all the amazing Dad's out there. There are a lot of you. This post goes out to all of you who have gone the extra mile time and time again for your kids. Those late nights and early mornings that you cared to your core to provide your selflessness. I am a huge believer that we're all products of our providers, which of course means our parents. The definition of a provider is: one who supplies a means of subsistence. Interesting ... Dad's make such an impact on us, that the pieces of who they are truly get morphed into us. If that's not subsistence, I don't know what is. Whether we like it or not we're products. I'm proud to be a product of my provider.

Today being Father's day I've been thinking nonstop about my Dad. I knew this post had to be about him.  Living away from home has its perks, obviously much warmer here in SC; however its days like today when I wish I could just drive up the street and kick back a brew with my Dad. This is my best way of staying connected to him.

Kids don't naturally understand how much their parents do for them (I know I didn't) until its too late. We start in diapers, hit kindergarten, High School, head off to college, move away from home, get that first job and then we realize how lucky we were. The actuality of how much our Dad's did for us. It really puts it in perspective when it final hits you. My Dad's absolutely amazing and there has been moments throughout growing up and my early adulthood that will sustain in my brain forever. Truly a special guy, so here goes on those moments:

1 - When I was roughly 12 years old my brother, Dad and I were out pond skating on a cold wintery night. In our neighborhood, we would always walk down the street when it got cold enough to skate. This particular night we were going at it for roughly 2,3 hours having a blast and then it started to get Dark. The puck was flung over to an edge of the pond and off I skated to get it. CRACK, BOOM! I fell straight thru the ice. In full out panic mode, I flailed, tossing and turning attempting to pull myself out of the icy water. It wasn't happening (scariest moment of my life). In a mad dash I was starting to migrate under the water until my Dad literally hauled ass to scoop from the other end of the pond to scoop me up and drag me out of the water. A few seconds later, I honestly think I could have drifted underneath the ice. Dad you saved my life. Thank you.

2 - I'm 16 years old, 20 days fresh of having my license. Crashed into the back of my friend Eddie's pick up truck wrecking the Volvo owned by my parents. I had stupidly not been paying attention at the wheel. Car was totaled. Still in the "Cool" phase of driving, I quickly found out it wasn't so cool to turn to the passengers side window and wave to friends. Just enough time with your eyes off the road to get into quite a pickle. So what did I do? Somehow I thought I could hide it from him. Got the car towed to the house and then when he came home I was scared shitless. Those who know me I'm not the type of kid to lie (It's quite difficult for me). He came up to my room and I lost it. Started absolutely balling. Screamed. Mostly being frustrated with myself and my stupidity. He could see I was in the worst of shapes. You know what he did? He understood. He said "It's okay, the important thing is no one got hurt ... you're okay ... it's okay ... forget about it" Dad you understood. Thank you.

3 - It's the first "Parent's Weekend" I had only been away from my Dad for a couple months. Me at Clemson, him up in Massachusetts. I was excited for them to arrive. I'm not going to lie it was weird being so far from home, 18 years old ... 18 hours away .. no joke right?! So I knew they were soon to arrive, but then there he stood. I popped out into the hallway of my Freshman dorm and as he got closer I saw something I had never ever so in my life. My Dad emotional, again those who know him understand that emotions are rarely exhibited :) I walked right up to him and said hey Dad, gave him the hand shake half arm hug and felt him shaking to see me. Dad you missed me. Thank you.

4 - I think what my Dad's always done the best is support. Whether is was getting me to hockey practice, attending a golf match or coaching my baseball team he's been there. Never missing a beat. This moment starts with me in the middle of the New Hampshire Marathon. I'm 23 years old running my 2nd marathon (the most challenging I'll probably ever tackle, HILLS!!). My brother and Dad had this great idea of biking the course while I was out there. They ended up getting lost and put in more miles than me that day haha. What I'll never forget though is that my Dad came buzzing by roughly mile 22 and I was hurting bad. My pace was fading a little bit, but as he brushed by he said "Just keep going buddy, your almost done." Quite simple, but he gave me strength. The quick comment fueled me to keep going. It resonated. Dad you supported me. Thank you.

5 - A mere 6 months ago, I was up visiting the old stomping grounds for the holiday's and I signed my Dad up for his first 5K. The New Year's Day Hangover Classic 5K in Salisbury Beach, MA. It was his present because I knew he would have to do it if I paid for it. When I got into racing he seemed to gradually start running. It was interesting. He continually told me he would never race and was just running to get in shape. I was so excited to share what I love with him and have him in the same race as me. Coming off a stress fracture, I finished close to PR, but that wasn't at all the cool part. I jumped back to the finish line shoot and as I saw my Dad coming in - not only pushing hard, but kicking at the end I got the chills. I was pumped to see him cross the line. Just under 27minutes. Impressive. Dad you ran with me. Thank you.

I could go all night on other moments my Dad and I have shared, but bed time is getting close. All I know is that my Dad woke up and took me to 5am hockey practice, cooked and fed me, cared for me even when I was out of line, he took me tubing in the summers and purposely dumped me off, on and on the list goes. The results are in though. HE's BEEN THERE. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have had someone like that in their life. Especially to his caliber. I'm truly proud to be his product. He has shaped me into the man I am today. I'll never forget. I'll never be ungrateful. There are more moments to come. Dad you've always been there. Thank you.

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