Today, my father turned 61 years old.
My dad is my hero, no matter how pathetic or cliché that might sound. He taught me to be a gentleman, to appreciate jazz and classic rock, to understand the value of family and to be selfless–to be someone who puts his own wants and needs aside for the benefit of others. All of these things taught not only by anecdotal wisdom, but by example.
He pushed me to succeed, without forcing it upon me. He always joked that he would never respect me as a musician until I could play “Angry Young Man” by Billy Joel on the piano. While he was always joking and lighthearted about it, it always stuck in the back of my mind–one day, I could make him proud. I still aspire to learn how to play it.
It’s not like he isn’t proud of me already (he always manages to shoehorn it in to our phone conversations nowadays), but my goal, always, with everything (well, most everything), is to impress him. Because every day, he wakes up and does his job and helps my brother and I get through school and handles most everything with grace and a sense of humor and does this not for himself, but for us, and I aspire to be someone that he approves of, that he accepts and loves wholeheartedly (though I’m sure that even if I didn’t impress him, he would love me just the same).
Though I’m almost positive you’ll never read this, here’s to you, Dad. Thanks for everything.
This is one of his favorite songs. Listen: