I was four years old, sitting on your shoulders at the high school football game. You were calling out the plays and yelling about which position failed to do his job. Then you half way looked up at me, as I was resting my head on yours, and said, "See that guy over there, No. 27, that's the running back, and he was supposed to run a post on that play but he didn't." I nodded along as if I knew what you were talking about. Fast forward two years and you're on the sideline as the coach of a little league football team, and I'm the one yelling out the plays and yelling at the players who failed to do their jobs.
From my very first moments, I have only wanted to learn from and imitate you.To be as strong as you, or as brave as you. To make jokes as funny as yours or be as smart as you. To push me just as hard as you push yourself. Every aspect of your personality I wanted a piece of.
But what I got was even better than I could have ever wished for. I got your stubbornness and a hard head. I found out, only after going through some of the hardest challenges in my life, that I did get that strength of yours. I got your rebellious soul, and it got me into plenty of trouble in high school. I got your wanderlust gene, running away and traveling whenever I can. I got your adrenaline high search, and it's lead me to jump out of airplanes and dive off cliffs. I got your heart, appearing cold and tough when it's really warm and soft. You, Dad contributed much more than the other half of the DNA. You gave your life for mine, and that is something I will always be grateful for. So here's to you, to the man who created me, to the man who shaped me, and to the man who made me. I love you, Dad.