35 years ago a single mother met a Marine who became the greatest dad a kid could ever have. He not only married my mom but he adopted me and he treated me as I was HIS flesh and blood son. Never once did he ever bring up that fact that we were not. He is the only father I have ever known. He IS my father.
He inadvertently taught me my love of beer. At the age of 3 he dressed me up as Billy Carter and took me trick or treating. No kidding. See the pic below. Yeah, that sexy, young beast is me.
My dad was always there for me. Even when he wasn't. Being a Marine meant times where I wouldn't see my dad for a year or more. But he would always write or call. Hell, there were times(Iraq War) I wasn't sure I would ever see my dad again. But I always did.
Like all father/son relationships there were times we didn't get along. Man, would we would butt heads like crazy! I did some stupid stuff. I was a kid so of course I did. Some he found out about some he didn't. Until my friend Randy Lenard told him most of the stuff a couple of years ago. Thanks Randy. He put up with a lot. I wasn't a bad kid just very...difficult sometimes. I never understood why my friends liked my dad more than me. I do now though.
I think as I got older, got married and moved out of the house we have also become closer. Granted, once my dad got out of the Marine Corps he also mellowed out a bit too. Being a dad myself nowadays I begin to see more of him in me. I now understand many of the things he did and I hope that I can become as good a father to my daughter as he was too me.
Today I love hanging out with my dad and sometimes I'm a little saddened by the fact I don't get to see him more often since I live here in New Orleans and he lives in Florida. I do love the fact that he seems to have developed a love of craft beer. I always bring some when I visit Florida or he will buy some when I come. There is always beer in the fridge when I arrive!
Dad, I know I don't say it enough but I love you and want to thank you for being that dad that you were and are today. Can't wait to see you and share another beer with you!
The Beer Buddha