My Grandfather: Mom's Dad lost the use of his left arm at the age of 13. It was broken and through the malpractice of a doctor back in 1923, it never healed. It wasn't paralyzed but the fingers were permanently folded into the palm and frozen in place by atrophied muscle.
He lived until he was 92. I never, ever saw him ask for help with anything...from eating to yard work to giving himself insulin when he became diabetic. He could drive and he worked as a delivery driver for a professional laundry company
My Dad: The thing I have missed the most about my Dad these past 17 years is his sense of humor. We "got" each other and could make each other laugh when no one else thought the situation was funny.
When I was young, chocolate syrup came in a can, like whipped cream. It was called "Big Shot". One day I hit the nozzle and sprayed the chocolate up onto the 15 foot kitchen ceiling. No one can remember cleaning it off. Every time I moved to a new house, Dad would look at me and say "did you remember to clean the Big Shot off the ceiling?"
The second to last conversation I had with him was to discuss the GIANT pile of poop he found on his front lawn. We were trying to determine if one of his neighbors had gotten a Great Dane...or perhaps a new pet horse! That sent us into a fit of laughing and it still makes me chuckle and puts a little lump in my throat.
Mr Sunshine: I'm not sure how to describe the love he has for his kids. It was definately "on the job training" for him....no one taught him how to be a good dad. He has been an amazing Dad to both kids, but seems to be especially protective of Sorority Girl. She was a very sick baby and he spent a lot of time sitting by her hospital bed and sending me home to sleep or visit my parents and spent her first Thanksgiving sitting by her while I had dinner with my family.
My most vivid memory is the time she was standing against the baby gate in the upstairs hall and it gave way. She started to tumble down the stairs and he leaped over her. He caught her in mid-air and I don't think she hit one single step. I knew then that he would always have her back and try to keep her from getting hurt.
Happy Father's Day. I hope you have good memories of your Dad, or someone who has been like a Dad for you.