Gratitude Challenge Day 3

Today, for my dad’s birthday, I wrote about things I appreciated about him. He passed away seven years ago. As I wrote it, I began to realize that even though we never had a comfortable relationship, he had so much good in him that became a part of me. I am grateful for that.

  1. When I was a kid my dad used to take us to a cabin in Pennsylvania called that we called “the farm” that his friend owned.
  2. There was a loop that we could walk around what I remember as being an old corn field. I don’t think corn grew there. We would stop at a frog pond. I loved watching the tadpoles swimming and the frogs.
  3. Once we went in the winter, we went by ourselves and I remember it being so cold and us building a fire in the old cast-iron stove in the cabin and sitting bundled up at the table next to it and playing Spades.
  4. My dad was a football coach for East High School. One year, the quarterback was so good, we called him Magic Mullens. I broke my arm that year in three spots. I had to have surgery and was in the hospital for days. My dad had Magic Mullens make me a “Get Well Soon” card.
  5. My dad was always trying to make people laugh.
  6. My dad got up and dropped me off at swim practice at 5 in the morning when I was in high school.
  7. We were not rich, but my dad always always made it really clear that I would go to college. He and my mom paid for the whole thing including room and board.
  8. When the rest of my family became vegetarians, he did, too.
  9. He wore what he wanted to wear, which was frequently brightly colored and inexpensive.
  10. He loved food and would sometimes start groaning when he looked at menus, knowing that the food would be so good and he would eat too much.
  11. I remember him bringing the garbage men hot chocolate in styrofoam cups on a really cold winter day.
  12. He cared about his health and would buy fancy vitamins and go to the gym, writing down work out plans for the week.
  13. He loved music and was always whistling and singing. He loved the song, “Amazing Grace”
  14. He was frugal, but very generous with his money. He always paid for dinners, but never bought expensive clothes or fancy furniture.
  15. He took care of things. He washed and waxed his car.
  16. He would tell wildly inappropriate stories in front of my husband and me because he found them so funny. He would try to clean up the language in them, but that just made them more cringey.
  17. He always came to visit me wherever I lived. He would buy t-shirts from that place and wear them all week.
  18. He loved debating about politics with people that he did not agree with. He used to have debates in the sauna at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium.
  19. He was proud of his Polish heritage.
  20. We never got along and being around him was always difficult for me, but many of the traits he had, I have and they are traits I really love having.

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