Dear Stella and Dash,

 

Tomorrow is Father’s Day. It’s always a strange day for me, and one I feel somehow very ill equipped for. You see, when I was growing up, it was just another Sunday. I grew up without a dad, and all though I had a father, I wasn’t even really a blip on his radar.

 

I never had a male role model growing up, and so I often struggle with some of the typical male things that some of the other kids get from their dads. I never really had anyone around to teach me these things, and of the typical male things I do know, I kinda had to teach myself. My mom, your Nana, is an amazing woman, but as a single mom, working her ass off to get us through, fishing and Boy Scouts weren’t necessarily priorities.

So here is just a partial list of things that you won’t be learning from me:

 

1. How to hit a high slider

2. How to tie your own flies for fly fishing

3. How to start a fire without matches or a lighter

4. Skateboarding

5. How to throw a curveball

6. Where to put your hands on the laces

7. How to fix a carburetor

 

I have also struggled with some things that you 2 will need to be on the lookout for. I have a very addictive personality. I have struggled with alcohol and cigarettes. Gambling is bad for me too. Especially when added to the first 2. I am also really bad with money. School was never really my thing either. But I am working hard to show you the flip side of those things. I am learning to channel many of those aspects into better things. An active lifestyle, a passion for photography, for helping small fuzzy 4 legged creatures, for finding a cure.

 

Enough negatives though, okay? So what exactly is it I bring to the table?

 

1. A fierce loyalty to my family. I will do anything for you 2 and your mom.

2. A love of animals, and a need to protect and save them

3. Massive respect for women

4. The strongest belief in the word “Equal” and what it stands for, and knowing that our society’s current definition doesn’t cut it.

5. That you aren’t entitled to things, you earn them

6. Personal responsibility. It’s empowering to own your stuff, and admit when you are wrong

7. The knowledge that when something good happens to you, you earned it, it wasn’t given to you.

8 A willingness to try just about anything once. No fear. Food, sky diving, nipple piercing, I’m in

9. A discerning ear for music, which includes the ability to appreciate the subtle nuance between a Clif Burton bass line and one laid down by Jason Newsted.

10. Wicked sarcasm

11. An uncanny ability to cry at every Disney movie, pet food commercial, or the last episode of Mash

12. Wearing your emotions on your sleeve

13. Knowing the sunny 16 rule, the rule of thirds, and an appreciation for negative space

 

You 2 are the reason I get to celebrate a day like Fathers Day, but please know that I cherish every moment with you. I am so proud of the 2 of you, you are the most amazing people I know. And if it wasn’t for you 2, I would NEVER have learned that I could take some of those negatives listed above and channel them for good. I would never have learned that I could put down the smokes, lace up a pair of running shoes, and finish a 10k. Or 4 marathons after that. And one of my best days was the day I crossed that marathon finish line in Catalina and had you rush over to give me hugs. That I could turn back the clock on heart disease. That all though I wasn’t a fan of school, when you find something you love, you are very willing to devote time to learn about it.

 

You 2 make me want to be a better person, to constantly strive to be a little better today than yesterday. We make the most of everything we do. And I love that we are constantly doing new things, exploring new places, and tackling new experiences. I love that I get to spend Fathers day, and everyday with you, and I couldn’t be happier that you 2 give me a chance to be a dad.

I love you both,

Dad

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12 Comments

  1. Liza Stamley Brigga

    Absolutely Beautuful , Honest , and Awesome !

  2. Oh my goodness. That is so beautiful!

  3. You sound like a wonderful dad keep it up.

  4. Sounds like your Mom was both Mom and Dad and did a fabulous job of it! You sound like a very caring, committed, strong young man! Kudos and God bless!

  5. Awesome!!!!

  6. so awsume written I am 58 yr old and sounds like things I wish my dad had said to me and attempted to do for me,,, glad you have the chance to do these things with your children, you will be blessed for it

  7. Nothing is better said than that from the heart. Thank you for sharing

  8. Frank, you are an inspiration. God bless you and your family! Happy Fathers Day!!!

  9. Tiffany Doorn

    You made me cry Frank. Just beautiful 🙂 Happy Father’s Day! You’re an amazing dad 🙂

    • Oh Frank, that was just beautiful ! You are a amazing man and after meeting you in person, I know first hand what a wonderful job you have done with your family.

  10. That was incredible. What a great letter to your children. You are an amazing dad and person.

  11. Frank, I am in awe of you! To have seen you make the changes that you made in the last several years for your family and for you ultimately, speaks volumes about the kind of father you are! I myself grew up without my father, and I can tell you from a little experience kids don’t miss the things you give them but they do miss the love and support that you don’t show. You have obliviously learned this cause I see it in your photographs of your kids. So Happy Father’s Day frank, and congratulations on changing your life for the better! Your kids I am sure love having there father around!

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