Wedding - I'll Dance With You Forever

I'll Dance With You Forever

My Dad and I haven’t always been the best of friends. Growing up he was the one who did all the rule enforcement (ie spankings) and made sure we were kept in line. My dad was drafted for the Korean War and served in the Army for his required 3 years before getting out to pursue his love of auto mechanics in Milwaukee. Add to that a strict German upbringing from his parents who migrated to the United States a few years before he was born, and you could see how his take-no-crap attitude transcended to being a parent. When my mom died in ’88, he had to take on both parental roles, something I now could not even imagine. There was a large amount of personal sacrifice he had to endure to accomplish his main goal in life; to properly raise 2 boys. I was an angstful teenager, full of hormones, attitude and opinions like everyone else, so at the time I thought he was just being SUPER strict. Little did I know he just wanted us to make good decisions, try hard, and not quit when we set off to accomplish something. My brother and I were up every Saturday morning at 8am cleaning the house with him, and then helped outside. This was expected. He paid for my karate lessons, took us gold mining in the mountains and encouraged me to pursue my college degree, as long as I was paying for it. “You’re the one getting smart, you pay for it”. Hard time to argue that. He helped get me my first job at Sizzler and was there for my high school and college graduations. He was also there helping me back to move out to Philadelphia for my first professional job, and let me move back in 4 years later when I was done with the East Coast. At 25 he gave me a curfew since it was his house, and his rules. I had no way to argue with that. The dishes were always done and he ran a tight shift. It takes a somewhat mature adult to fully appreciate the hard work and dedication it takes to be a parent, and now I fully do. Today my father turns 71. And I pray to God he lives to 200. I tremble at the thought that he might not. Happy Birthday Dad. I love you. And I'm going to tell you that tonight at dinner.

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