Ten years on, I still miss him

Ten years ago today, my dad died.
For years I bore a heavy burden of guilt and self-loathing — at his last doctor’s appointment, I told him it was okay to be done with treatment. My asshole brain turned that around on me into me killing him, somehow responsible for cancer.
This is not a post about that. I’m healed from that now. I don’t blame myself anymore. I helped him transition. I gave him the gift of choice.
This is a post about a man who was always there for me, even when I didn’t deserve it. Who was always smarter than he let on, who was genuinely kind and loved by all. Who shared his love for 50s and 60s rock and roll with me, and taught me to love music from well before my time.
He was never an angry man (except when he was angry, then watch the fuck out).
I look in the mirror and I see his face, his eyes, his smile. Which is his mother’s face, and her mother’s face.

Somewhere, one of my friends has video of my dad at a wedding, holding forth in a stupor about being the Singapore Sling Champion of Newark, NJ for 1964. He loved to laugh, he loved to joke, he loved to carry on, not always appropriately — this apple didn’t fall far from the tree, you see.
So let me pay homage to the best man I ever knew, warts and all. Love you and miss you dad. I hope you are raising a ruckus somewhere.