I don't have one single instance that would make a whole story. I only have many little things that add up to something that I don't know if I will ever live up to. Dad had to work to give us a life that was filled with potential and opportunity. Whenever he could he would do things with us. For me, that thing was sports. My earliest memory of just him and I: he was taking me to a soccer tournament a few hours away from out home in El Paso Texas. During the tournament I was injured on the field and the first thing I saw when I looked up was my dad sprinting on to the field to make sure I was OK. He then proceeded to carry me off the field and to the car. It was obvious that he cared for my well being from a young age.
Dad would always play sports with my brother, sister and I in the driveway teaching us fundamentals of the particular sport, love of the game, fair play, and most importantly of all hard work. Dad would always emphasize the need to practice and learn as much as you can before the game. When the game does start, give it everything.
I remember hearing a voice during my basketball games loud: "Let's go Mike!" Unmistakably him. This was after he had worked for the week in D.C. Left work early to catch a flight early to get into Orlando to catch my game Friday night.
No matter the sport I wanted to do, Dad was always there to encourage, push, and guide me. Since he was gone a lot working, the trips he would take each of us three kids on meant a lot to each of us. My trip to Paris and Germany during high school with him was amazing. He showed me my childhood place of play and our old house in Germany. Dad took me to see the beautiful and historic sights that one only gets in the City of Love. His intellect and witty humor charmed even those who could not understand English. His charisma was truly something wonderful to be in the presence of. Quick to smile and make a joke but just as quickly serious and direct, dad always told me like it is and accepted me for who I am.
Some of the best times were simply sitting with him in his office watching sports and having conversations about any variety of topics from politics to existentialism. I will never forget Dad, the things he has taught me, and the memories we have shared.