But over the last few years, I've realized how much I really want to be like him. Really.
He's a lot more relaxed than I ever remember him being when I was growing up. He also sees things in a different way. In a good way. He tells me that everything happens for a reason and that he, too, believes we all have a purpose in life. "Everything will fall into place naturally," he reassures me.
My Dad is thoroughly enjoying life; and he doesn't care in the slightest what other people think (which is an amazing attribute). He's always the life of the party, and makes the best of every situation. I'm trying hard to instill these values into my sons. No matter what, he's always ready to cheer me up with a song or two on his guitar when I need it most.
My Dad also believes in relaxation and being as stress-free as possible. In fact, since retirement, he has pursued his life-long dream of traveling to South America every Winter for a couple months. Even in his 60's, he stayed with a Nicaraguan family so he could attend Spanish classes at a local school. He now knows how to speak Spanish. I admire him for following his passions.
I remember my Dad saying he wanted to travel to South America when we were growing up but never had the time or money. But now he does and I'm so happy for him. All he packs is one small backpack of clothes and his Blackberry so he can call home to my Mom and his grandchildren. He is still following his dream today. He has met many people along the way, and even managed to find the only Irish pub on a small Island where he says he feels the most relaxed: Ometepe, Nicaragua. I adore his adventurous side and determination to do his thing.
So in the spirit of Father's Day, I'd like to thank my Dad for all the wonderful things he has taught me, and ultimately, all the things my kids will learn from their Papa. I think you're awesome, Dad. Happy Father's day!