One bitter January afternoon, my mom sat warming her hands by our pot belly stove as she instructed my dad as to what he needed to pick up at the grocery store. I was about five at the time. "Can I go?" I asked. Dad was a quiet man, and about as easy going as you could get. He nodded and I ran for my winter coat, hat and gloves. As dad opened the door to the blowing wind and slippery rocks that served as steps to take us to our car, I remember him taking my little gloved hand in his and telling me to be careful. Though the ice was thick and the snow pelted hard on my face, I never felt more safe than I did with my hand in his on that blustery winter day.
My dad was not perfect. He drank too much on the weekends and sometimes stayed away from home just a little too long on Friday nights.
But he had a wonderful, giving heart and I wouldn't have traded him for all the perfect dad's in the world.
He died way too young, at 53, and I miss him still today.