My dad was compassionate and loyal. He went out of his way to do things to make our days a little easier, like waking up early to make sure we got breakfast, or warming the cars up in the morning before we’d have to leave during the cold Wisconsin winter. He was a good cook and always made sure to bake us our favorite cakes and a special dinner for our birthdays. My love of cooking comes from him.
My dad was smart and funny. He rarely went anywhere without a book in hand, and could quote movies and TV shows of all different genres. My love of The Princess Bride, Scrubs, and many other things I haven’t been able to watch since his passing come from him.
My dad was a hard worker. Many of my childhood memories are of my mom, my dad, and I going out to my grandma’s house, where we would help take care of her old farmhouse and the land around it. Even when he didn’t live with us, he still came by and did housework so that things looked nice for when we got home.
My dad was a myriad of wonderful things that brought joy and happiness to those around him, but he was also an alcoholic. He started drinking at a young age, and never stopped. Through my birth, a divorce because of his alcoholism, a remarriage to the same woman who never wanted to leave in the first place, the birth of his second daughter, and the threat of another divorce. Through all of these periods of great happiness, and the deepest sorrows that stemmed from his drinking, he never could stop.
My dad could not stop drinking even after he was hospitalized and they told him that if he didn’t stop, he would die. It only took three months after his release from the hospital for his body to give up in his sleep. He was exactly one week away from his 45th birthday.
My dad was an old soul, but with all of his wisdom he couldn’t keep the demons that were haunting him at bay. Between his disease and his learned habits, he could not let all of the love that we had for him replace the bottle. I think about him every day and hope that his soul is finally at rest.