Today, September 12th, is my father’s Birthday. My dad would be 54 years old today.
There was a time in my adult life when it became very important to me as an individual to define who my heroes were and why I admired them. During this time a list evolved of 3 definitive characters that I had studied, admired and modeled my character after. My list included Theodore Roosevelt (at least in the years leading up to his presidency of the United States), Thor Heyerdahl (a Norwegian explorer and author and one of the key reasons for my interest in archaeology and anthropology), and my dad.
My father died in a car accident on his way to work early in the morning of January 3rd, 2005. We had a close friendship and I spent much of my adult life planning, researching and looking forward to our next adventure. I am incredibly thankful for the time we were able to spend together and for the close friendship we developed. I don’t know very many people my age who have parents that they can truly consider friends.
I didn’t consider it an important conversation at the time, but a few years before he died I was able to tell my father what he meant to me. I was able to express how thankful I was for his friendship and that I considered him one of my heroes. To this day, I try to consider what my dad would do or what advice he would give when facing a tough decision and many times I find that course of thought very helpful.
So, Happy Birthday to my father, my hero….my friend.