Dad,

First, thank you. Thank you for being my rock; for being the one who no matter what, is always on my side and sticks with me through thick and thin. From the “man-trips” to Wildwood, NJ to the random trips to grocery stores on vacation because you just love grocery stores, I can’t help but smile at every little memory we share. Trust me when I tell you, dad, I remember more than you probably think, and even the smallest of things act as such a foundation for my life. Like when I see small dinghy-boats, I’m reminded of that muggy summer evening when you came home from a golf tournament with a new Alumacraft boat for us, and a smile from cheek to cheek. Every Christmas, I think of the times we’d spend setting up the train and how you’d lower your glasses on your nose and get up under the tree to figure out why the trains not running, only to find out it was a loose piece of tinsel on the tracks. Thank you for being a role model, not only by being a great father, but also a great person. I cannot begin to imagine where I would be in my life without your guidance and influence. That brings me to the next point I wanted to make, one that probably wouldn’t be brought up otherwise. I want to thank you for being a stern parent, the one who didn’t give in to my juvenile demands or whimpers, the one who was my parent more than my friend. Even though I could (and would) go to mom for the things I really wanted, you knew what I needed and provided me with the tools of life to be able to do just that. On a daily basis, I catch myself mid-action, thinking “This is so my dad,” and I couldn’t be any happier because there’s no one else in this world I would rather emulate. When you introduce me, I love hearing “this is my son,” and seeing your eye sparkle as I shake their hand. I thrive knowing that I represent you, and through me, you will continue to live on. Because of you, I know what I need to do and who I need to be to be a great father. Of all the memories, from looking up to you as my hero, to seeing you now as the man I will become, I will never forget the laughs we shared. Whether they be over a beer, or at the house in front of the fireplace, I will never forget the infectious laughter that would fill the air. Thank you for everything, dad, and most importantly, thank you for teaching me how to love.

-Your Loving Son