#170. May 11th, 2013: Dad

Today I got to do something that I absolutely love and cherish; I got to spend time with my Dad. As a surprise, I took him golfing at Torrey Pines here in San Diego and I’m pretty sure it’s the first time we’ve done that in over 3 years or so. Nonetheless, it was wonderful. Despite my sunburn, I feel so happy and thankful to have spent this beautiful day with him 🙂 My dad is one remarkable and wise man. Looking at his earlier years, my Dad worked his ass off and still does, all for the sake of our family. He puts in all of his effort and time so that my sister, mom and I can have beautiful lives filled with opportunity. He put himself through college and law school, and because of that and just who he is, he has an incredibly inspiring work ethic. He is unbelievably driven and dedicated to all that he does, and he never gives up. He will never give up hope, strength, and determination, and for that I love him so much. My Dad has taken our family to places I never could have dreamed of going to and for that I am so thankful. We’ve ventured to the middle of Botswana together and we’ve looked out from the Eiffel Tour together. One of my favorite memories with my Dad was in the year 2000 when we were on our cruise through Alaska. He told me to come with him to the front of the ship to look out at the ocean for a bit. We were the only ones out there. Literally no one else. Suddenly, we looked to our left and a whale completely breached, jumping clear out of the water. I remember a huge smile spreading across my face and knowing that I would remember this forever. My Dad is truly a man who appreciates spectacular moments and experiences, big and small. He has taught me to appreciate the little things, to always remember how much $100 is, to be a gentleman, to treat everyone with respect, to work hard, and to laugh a lot along the way. He’s taught me how to pronounce strange words, how to have a lemonade stand, how to ride a bike, how to fix things, how to build things, how to have sock wars, how to play Crocodile Hunter, how to play golf; the list goes on. My Dad can always show me the lesson in something, and he always strives to teach me something new and to educate me in some way. I may not always show it, but I love that. I love the way he cares so freakin’ much about my sister and I and I am so grateful for that. I love the way he loves my Mom. They have such a beautiful relationship and I am inspired by it literally every day. I love the way my Dad cares so much about being a great host. I love the way my Dad cares about welcoming everybody in. I love the way my Dad loves design and photography, and I love it when we’ll be somewhere and he’ll say, “Bri, come here for a sec. Look at that, isn’t that cool?” It could be a cloud in the sky or a shadow cast across the water in Venice. Whatever it is, just know that my Dad is an amazing man who sees incredible things in life. My Dad is also an extremely supportive, understanding, and loving man. I will forever be thankful for his kindness and acceptance with my sexuality. I remember thinking before I told him that I wouldn’t want it to change our relationship of watching football together and playing football out on the street together and just being two friends. It didn’t change anything, in fact, it only made our relationship better and that’s because my Dad loves me so much and has been wonderful in through the entire process. I have so many friends who would kill for the relationship I have with my Dad, and so I know I am so fortunate to have what I have with him. I could honestly list thousands of memories with my Dad, but that would turn into a novel. Whether it’s all the camping trips, our bison encounters in Wyoming, Big Susie, or some other magical experience, I know all of them ended with a smile and even if I have ever been frustrated with him, I know that he cares about me to no end and that’s what matters. Dad, thank you so much for being the genuine, modest, and fantastic man that you are. Thank you so much for being such a quality individual and for always being there for me. I mean that. Thank you so much for all of the advice you give me and for all of the help you offer with everything. Thank you so much for giving me such a phenomenal childhood filled with fun, travel, opportunity, and love. Thank you so much for all the Laker games we’ve watched together, for all the support you’ve given me, for everything. Thank you for working so hard so that I can live such a great and open life. Thank you for dealing with my craziness and with all of my endeavors. Thank you for skydiving with me and thank you for all of the ridiculous adventures we’ve had. Thank you for being the best husband to mom and thank you for being the absolute, 100% best Dad I could ever have dreamed of. I know I didn’t really have a choice, but trust me, if I did, I would choose you in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for all of the lessons, the bank transfers, the advice, for being my emergency contact, the mentoring, the help, and the time you’ve given me 🙂 Thank you so much for teaching me how to be a better man each and every day and thank you so much for just being who you are 🙂 I am already excited for when I have children and they get to have you as their grandpa 🙂 I am so proud to call you my Dad and I always will be. I love you so much Dad, to the ends of the earth and back again. Thank you for all that you’ve given me, tangible or not. Thank you for your support of me being gay, for all my TEDx expenses, and for all the support you give with everything. Thank you for everything you do in this world and thank you for being the most influential man in my life. I am so lucky and proud to be your son and I always will be. I love you 🙂

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