Thanks for all the hard work you did and still do for us. From bringing home the bacon to horsie rides, from loading the car to playing catch in the backyard.
True, we missed you a lot when you worked long hours, but we were simultaneously so proud of you for saving lives and helping to gently walk both patients and their families down the long and sometimes painful road. We have no way of knowing how many lives you have touched with your gentleness and generosity, but we have a pretty good idea from the way you are bombarded with, "Thank you, Dr. M"s, everytime we walk the aisle of the grocery store. Not only do your patients and their loved ones sing your praises, but your nurses do too. After working in the healthcare field for just a few months, I now realize how special and unique that makes you in a world full of many conceited, clipboard-hurling, god-complex physicians.
The precious hours you were home with us, you made every second count. You seamlessly jumped into every bit of family life, from baths and bedtime tuck-ins, to books and games. The only time you ever "pressured" us was when you suggested that we somehow find a way to make our lives' work, "helping people". And I know that was less about your dreams for us and more of a way to ensure our own fulfillment.
We love you!
Top 10 Childhood Memories with my Dad:
10. Lots of lazy trips to the library.
9. Playing tiger hunt on the floor with my brother and I tackling and attempting to ride you. Umm, sorry for contributing to your future back pain, Dad.
8. Your Merman impression. "I want to rrrrrule the worrrld!"
7. Getting to visit you at work: spinning around on the office chairs, coloring with crayons and papers the nurses kept just for us, eating chocolates given to you by patients, and solemnly trying out the microscope and stethoscope.
6. Standing at Mr. Donut, selecting treats after Mass. Well, on days that we were "good" anyhow.
5. The eccentric music you play in the car, from the Roaches to Tom Waits. And fighting over who "had" to ride with you with said music blaring from the speakers. You know we loved having Dad-time, even if Tom Waits was in the car too.
4. One of my earliest memories is you making my stuffed raccoon, Kenny, dance along my crib, singing, "Neer-neerneerneer-neer-neer, neer-neer, neer."
3. You waking us up singing, "Good morning to Muppies, good morning to you."
2. You singing, "You're my little potato. You're my little potato. Dug you up. You come from under the ground." Hmm, you sure sang a lot of random songs.
1. Your sychronized swimming routine in the pool, complete with big hairy legs doing graceful scissor kicks, followed by bursting out of the water with arms up in a V, ready to accept our applause and hysterical laughter.
I love you, Dad! Thanks for everything!