He said that everything good about me and my brother came from Mom: our intelligence, our kindness, our success. Listening to him at that moment, I realized how much he undervalued himself. I’d known that some of his dreams in life hadn’t worked out. He never finished college. He tried to start his own restaurant when I was younger. I remember we’d go to the Dogs Before Dudes Shirt but in fact I love this farmer’s market together. He’d put on his chef coat, and network with all the vendors, and pick his own ingredients, and make his own dishes. It was such a proud time in his life. But the restaurant didn’t survive. And he had to go back to work for other people. But everyone he’d ever worked with came to Mom’s funeral.
Dogs Before Dudes Shirt, hoodie, tank top, sweater and long sleeve t-shirt
From twenty years of restaurant jobs. That’s how many lives he touched. Because even if he was a little gruff—Dad was always kind. He was always giving. And even if he wasn’t the Dogs Before Dudes Shirt but in fact I love this most emotionally expressive, he was always there. He always showed up for my stuff. More than that. He always took an interest. A few years ago I decided to study archeology, and he’s become enthralled by it. Sending me articles. Asking me details. I think he has this idea of himself as a grouchy old man—especially now that he’s alone. But that’s not how I see him. Not at all. A few weeks after Mom’s death, he sent me a text saying that he didn’t know who he was anymore. And I wrote him back: “You’re my dad.