Dear Dad, I Love You! Your Son

By · August 11, 2017 · Filed in Entertainment, Personal

With apologies to mom(I’m gonna write one for you as well) I felt inclined to write this open letter thanking my dad for everything he’s done. I want to let the world know that I love him. It’s funny because I have a memory of watching the following Chris Rock bit with he and my brother Jeff. In it he discussed how mama got all the songs, praise and love while all daddy got was “the big piece of Chicken(warning graphic language):

 

I don’t even know where to start, but I have so much to thank my dad for starting with quitting the corporate world to be home more to help raise my brother and I and teach us to be independent from a young age. I liken it to Jim Carrey’s commencement speech from 2014. Thankfully he quit instead of “being let go” like Jim’s dad.

My dad also taught me as Jim’s dad did that “you can fail at what you don’t want so you might as well take a chance at doing what you love”. Sadly I feel I let him down for all the things I loved that I quit before giving a full effort… first it was baseball, then it was acting/modeling, then it was the dream to be an engineer for Porsche. All of these childish decisions to quit at the first sign of adversity were moments of failure that led me to where I am now. I am glad to say that I failed at all those ventures because now I got to start a business with my dad and moved across the country to do so.

On the road of life – behind the wheel of a Porsche 911 C2S with dad

It was actually a combination of the struggle he was going through coupled with my frustration working an “Office Space” type of job shortly after college when I finally made a decision to quit and come down to AZ. Shortly after I quit and before I was ready to move I got a call that he was in the hospital and had a medical emergency. It was partly due to being overworked at the business he was at and I dropped everything to come down here.

I once told myself I’d NEVER sell this car

 

 

A few months later I sold off all my most prized possessions including my Honda CBR and my Mitsubishi 3000GT VR4(a car I once told myself I’d NEVER sell and also a car I worked on for months on end with the toolset he got me for my 16th birthday which I still have). Our goal was to start a business and as they say “keep it in the family”.

I was disillusioned with working for someone else and felt that I was devoting too much time to people who only saw me as a number vs. devoting myself to those most important to me. The past 7yrs have been rough and I have still fallen into the trap of going back to work for employers including building a career in logistics management the past 5yrs to help supplement our small business.

Dad and my adorable niece Avery in late 2015

In my most recent job I had another experience like the one in April 2010. It was December 2015, I came home from work like any other day and had got the crushing news from my wife that my dad was in the hospital again. Instead of dropping everything to help I lost myself in work. I felt it was the best way to help support and not be a burden during his rough time. It was the wrong decision. I even broke down and cried in a management meeting because I had enough of all the pressure from work while daily wondering if my dad was ever gonna get better.

Thankfully he did, but it’s still a long road to a full recovery. I am now at a point where at age 33 I need to be the rock for this family. Ironically it’s the same age my dad was when I was born. Before we got to today though I had one other life-changing experience that should’ve been the tipping point.

Little League – thanks to dad

 

 

 

 

My dad raised me to be a baseball fan, namely a Chicago baseball fan. Since my mom was from the South Side and he was from the North Side he never gave me that ridiculous “you have to be a Cubs fan or else” edict. In fact, he took me to as many Sox games as Cubs games as a kid despite him growing up 1mi from Wrigley Field. Here’s a picture from a trip to Vegas when I was 14 that shows how little he cared who I rooted for:

Confused kid – but dad didn’t care. He just wanted me to love baseball

 

 

 

Yes back in 1996 I was a Cubs fan, Sox fan(I liked Albert Belle) and Braves fan(solely b/c of Greg Maddux) so he didn’t care that I could rock a Braves hat with a Cubs shirt one day and that same Braves had with my prized Albert Belle jersey the next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shortly after that he took me to my first playoff game, Cubs vs. Braves in the 1998 NLDS. While it was a loss(and a sweep) I’ll always remember “Good Riddance, Time Of Your Life” by Green Day blasting on the speakers, picking up free Oh! Henry Bars(it was a custom when Henry Rodriguez got a hit for fans to throw these on the field), but most of all being there with dad. Ironically the matchup was Maddux v. Wood and earlier that same year he took my niece Julia to her first game which just happened to be Kerry Wood’s 20K game.

He also became a season ticket holder in 2003. The biggest year of heartbreak. We went to Game 2 of the NLCS together, the one blow-out, the Cubs won 12-3 and we saw both a monstrous Sammy Sosa HR and the most freak blooper ever where the Marlins pitcher had the ball slip out of his hand and fly into their dugout. We thought this a was sign that it was finally “the year”. We all know how that turned out 🙁

The now infamous “hop” after the biggest HR he would ever hit in his career

PS- I never did and never will blame that poor fan BTW… it was a combo of bad coaching by Dusty Baker and a botched play by “sure handed” Alex Gonzalez that lost that game, not to mention, they still had Game 7. I was there on Waveland and remember how they held a 5-3 lead as late as the 5th inning before the bad bullpen and not using Matt Clement.

 

Remember Giants fan and Bay Area Native Steve Perry celebrating with the Sox to their rallying cry “Don’t Stop Believin”?

Sadly 2yrs later the White Sox won in 2005. It was then that I let peer pressure get the best of me and say “I’m a Cubs fan, I can’t enjoy this”. In reality the only opinion that mattered was my own and the only person whose validation I needed was his.

Thankfully 11yrs later was finally THE YEAR. Sadly, I was stuck at work in Arizona and my dad was in Chicago when Bryant to Rizzo sealed 108yrs of waiting. I will always remember this moment that I shared with one of my drivers but deep down I was hurt that I couldn’t be there with dad. Even worse is I was stuck at work and in the warehouse away from a TV for the only time in my 2yrs at the current employer. It was only when I said “seeing this moment was more important than getting yelled at or even fired” that compelled me to go to the drivers lounge(where I spend 99.9% of my time at work) to catch the final inning.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY

In closing I’d like to share my favorite lasting memory of the fateful 2016 World Series Champs and a song dedicated to dad. I know we have plenty more adventures to come. I can’t watch this without getting goosebumps when they cut in Joe Buck’s final out call. In fact whenever I listen to this song I add it myself… even if I’m in public on my Ducati. Probably because dad taught me not to care what others think if you’re having a good time.

The lyrics say it best:

One day my father—he told me,
“Son, don’t let it slip away”
He took me in his arms, I heard him say,
“When you get older
Your wild life will live for younger days
Think of me if ever you’re afraid.”
He said, “One day you’ll leave this world behind
So live a life you will remember.”
My father told me when I was just a child
These are the nights that never die
My father told me

Comments

Love it!!

Leave a Comment