Ode to Superman and Santa Claus

The world lost a great man on August 27, eleven days after he turned 60.

The world probably doesn’t know it, but I do. My family does. And he even left a void at work—he worked in such a way that it seems that anyone who had any contact with him respected and liked him.

He was Superman—complete with tattoo, earring, wardrobe, and ring. His desk was full of Superman memorabilia, eclipsed perhaps only by pictures of the family he loved so much. In his small way, by influencing the world around him always for good, he fought for “truth, justice, and the American way.”

I can take great comfort in the knowledge that I grew up fully aware of how super of a Daddy I had. I have no regrets of wasted time; I loved my dad to the fullest and he knew it, just as I know how completely he loved me.

He was taken from us so suddenly that I still find it difficult to comprehend that there won’t be a giant Santa Claus walking around Nashville this Christmas, his pockets stuffed with small toys he can hand out to those children who recognize him as the real deal and come up uninvited (but not unwelcome) to tell him what they want for Christmas.

Impossible to believe he’ll never see Kara smile, or crawl, or walk, or go to school or get married or have children of her own.

Inconceivable to think he won’t be there to greet me with a hug and kiss the next time we visit Nashville.

But as I sit here drinking my coffee—a morning ritual that has always reminded me of Dad, who was an avid coffee drinker himself—I can take some small comfort in the fact that I myself am a living legacy of him. From the trivial things (such as drinking coffee and having a Zelda tattoo and watching bad superhero movies), to the foundational (such as faith and family values), I am my father’s daughter. I am where I am, happily married to a selfless man who is now in turn a wonderful father, because of the example he lived to show me how a husband should treat his wife.

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