Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)
TITLE: The Incredible Dad I Wish You Could Know
By Dan Blankenship
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My dad was an incredible man. Cars, motorcycles, radios, televisions, microwaves, dishwashers, video games, and anything that might need to be made whole on Christmas Day were no match for my dad. He had a tool, a game plan, or just the plain audacity of self-confidence to make incredible things happen when his children were watching with anxiety and hope. He was the magic man who could snap his fingers and make technology his workhorse and the impossible completely doable.
He built sheds, rebuilt engines, designed room additions and made those rooms look better than his original designs, repaired washers, dryers, tape players, record players, VCRs, and more bicycles than I can even remember. In the winter time, when hardly a driver could keep their car on the icy roads, my dad was teaching me how to maneuver a 1977 rear wheel drive Pontiac Grand Prix like it was an sled in the Iditarod.
I never doubted that my father could do anything. I never saw him fail at anything. From him I learned that nothing is impossible if you believe it to be achievable. From him I learned that hard work produces amazing results as long as one stayed committed and focused.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned a thing or two on my own about setting goals and facing adversity head on. And while I’ve never made things snap together with the ease at which my father did, I have tried to follow in his footsteps and remind myself that even when things look hopeless, there is the possibility that you are completely wrong in your assessment. Life is never so difficult that adversity can’t be overcome.
Incredible dads are blessings to be cherished. Before cancer took my dad’s life, I got the chance to write him a long letter explaining how he had influenced my life. I told him how I took pride in my family, my home and my work because he had always taken pride in his. I wrote words of respect and praise for his ability to raise children and prepare them to do the same when they were ready to have children of their own.
Someone asked me why I wrote my father a letter instead of just saying the words directly to him. I explained that I’ve always loved the written word and never been much of a verbalist, so writing down the words was the most natural, sincere, and accurate way for me to tell my father exactly why he was the best dad I could ever hope for. I ended my letter by telling my dad that when I meet fatherless children, I immediately say a little prayer that someone like him would end up playing the role of dad in their lives. I handed my dad that letter in June of 1994, and not a June goes by that I don’t thank God that I took the time to pen the words he needed to hear.
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