My father died twelve years ago, on the 18th of June, 2008. I graduated from USC a month before, and he was too sick to travel from San Diego to see me. I had been down to visit him about a month before that, but we didn’t talk much. We never really talked much, and when we did, the conversations were so trivial that I barely remember any of them now. It was Father’s Day yesterday, and I tried to think of anything I owned that either came from him or reminded me of him. I couldn’t think of anything.
There were a lot of things I never asked my dad. I never asked him to teach me how to shave. Or how to drive. Or how to talk to girls. I never asked him to tell me about his life growing up. Or to give me any advice on how to be a man. Or advice on how to live. I never asked him how to fix cars, even though I knew that’s what he loved to do. But he did teach me one thing, one thing I just now remembered.
When I was a kid, I liked to draw. I remember I loved to draw Power Rangers. Tommy was my favorite, especially when he was the white ranger. I remember I was having trouble drawing his helmet, and I had erased and re-erased my sketch so many times that the fibers of the paper started to come off. I asked my dad if he could draw him for me because I knew my dad was a great artist. He didn’t. Instead, he told me to keep going. That I’m only going to get better if I keep drawing. And so I did.
If anything, my dad taught me to keep going, and that has been one of the greatest gifts he could ever give me. I’m as independent and self-reliant as I am because of him, and I really couldn’t ask for a better gift than that. Thank you.