Today would have been my dad's 59th birthday. Just 2 years ago today he celebrated his last birthday, his 57th, in the ICU unaware of what the day was until I told him.
Me and dad at Disneyland when I was 4.
I believe I'm around 4 years old in this picture too, this is when we moved into our house, the same house my parents lived in before they died.
I'm around 3 years old in this one with dad because we're in the backyard of the duplex we lived in.
Me as a newborn with dad.
Me around age 2 with dad. We had professional pictures taken this day.
Me and dad in front of his old vending truck. He used to fill soda and candy machines.
On his 32nd birthday.
At a local park going down a big slide!
Dad with Annika the day she was born.
Dad reading one of my old favorite books to Annika.
Since my mother never had a job my dad worked hard at his job when I was growing up. We always had money for food, clothes and our nice, new house (my parents bought their house in 1987 and lived in it until they died).
My dad always made it a point to not to talk to me as a child but as an equal. I never had many rules from him growing up yet I managed to never get myself into trouble. There was an understanding between us that as long as there were few rules that I would be a respectable person and not do anything to get myself into trouble or embarrass my parents. And guess what? I rarely did anything bad. I never did drugs and didn't drink alcohol until I was over 18.
My dad and I always had long talks about life and just random stuff. He was thrilled when we found out we were having a girl because he said "I wouldn't know what to do with a boy, all I know are My Little Ponies and Barbies and ballet". I am so sad that he isn't here to see his two little grand-girls. I know he would have loved to have the two of them.
Dad had his hard times. When I was in 8th grade he had to quit his job filling vending machines because of a slipped disk in his neck and needed surgery. He didn't work for almost 6 months. Afterwards he jumped around working as a handyman, as a maintenance man for a company that had rental houses and at Wal-Mart were he worked before he died. He had issues with vehicles and couldn't afford his Jeep which I took over the payments for and kept as my own. At times he had to walk to work because he didn't have a car. I had to buy him a pick up truck once because I hated seeing him walk to work and a few times I had to have his car towed when it broke down. I was there for him since he was there for me for so long.
Dad repaid me for everything though after he died even though I never expected it. Without me knowing he had a 401K and life insurance set up which we received during the time Josh was laid off from work. We were able to pay cash for a new car and move into the townhouse we live in now and thanks to that money were were able to pay off all our debt which meant we were able to afford even considering having another baby. Without that money we'd still be living in our old 2 bedroom apartment probably with just Annika.
So today I am thankful for my dad even though he's gone.