Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Family Photo

I turned 50 yesterday.
I was able to make a portrait of the most important man in my life over the weekend.
My dad.
His face tells a story, but it’s hard to look at this image without much bias.
So I’ll just share a few of my thoughts and feelings.
My dad has taught me a lot and as I hit this milestone in my life, I was thinking about what he has meant to me.
He helped me to be a man.
He has never forced me to do or be, but has lead me by example.
That’s something I find hard to do with my own kids, even though he really didn’t have much of an example growing up.
My family loves to get together and chuckle at his idiosyncrasies, but he loves us with an unconditional love that has kept us together and made us all strong in our own ways.
His life has been far from easy.
He lost his mother at 9.
Was shipped off to the internment camps a couple of years later, to spend his pre-teen years in the scorching desert of Arizona because he was a national threat.
He returned as an eighth grader to be beaten up daily for being of Japanese descent.
He became a star athlete of his high school, but was told, “To go home where he belonged,” by an angry woman after scoring the winning basket during one season.
He became a man’s man through it all.
Loved by all, ready to help anyone at the first sign of need. Can cuss like a sailor, but be a gentleman when ladies are present.
When he was about 65 he climbed on my roof to clean out the rain gutters and looked like he was 35!
He coached me in Little League.
He took my kids fishing and still feeds them junk food when they come to his house.
He loves my mother after 51 years of marriage.
He still starts to clean up my backyard before the last guests have left.
He only knows how to be who he is, and that’s okay.
His face shows the life he’s lived, but in a good way.
My dad.
Thank You.
Love you!
Be inspired!

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2 Responses

August 31, 2011

Mike, I just read this…I thought you were talking about Tara’s pic. when you called. It did make me cry. This is so beautiful. I know you are speaking from your heart. I love you! Mom

August 31, 2011

Mike, Thank you for being a great son and know that your mother and I will always love you. You know me I don’t say too much, but you know how much I really love you. You have a great day. I’m going out now to finish cleaning the yard. Love you, Dad

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