Four years ago today, I lost my father. He passed away at the age of fifty-nine, leaving a huge hole in my life. Every day, I wish he was still here, and these are just a few of the reasons why:
My dad always encouraged my writing career. Every time we talked, whether one day or one week had passed, he asked if there was anything new going on. Even when I told him that nothing had changed, and I was still getting rejected, he told me not to give up.
When I decided to pursue independent publishing after too many years of rejections and one sham of an agent, my dad was surprised. I remember him asking if I meant I was going to use a vanity press. I was upset by his attitude, and I think it showed. The next time we talked, he could not stop apologizing for what he said. He told me that times were changing and it was smart of me to change with them.
After my first novel, Letters from Linc, was released, my dad told anyone and everyone that would listen that his daughter was a published author. The dreaded phrase 'vanity press' was all but forgotten. Not only did he champion me to anyone within earshot, he put a copy of my novel in his office and always plugged it when they stopped by.
My dad never wanted to read any of the sex scenes in my novels. He told me it was because fathers didn't want to know that their daughters knew such things. I didn't mind. The fact that he knew my novels had sex scenes meant he was reading them.
Growing up, my dad was full of funny sayings, some of which have made their way into my books. I've often joked about making a book devoted entirely to his quirky quips, but I don't think I could do him justice. I also don't think I'll ever remember them all.
My dad was a good listener. He was always willing to help others and he didn't expect a big deal to be made in return. At my father's funeral, I learned he took in a homeless couple and helped them get back on their feet. My dad was a big man who was larger than life. He liked being a father, but he loved being a grandfather.
When I eloped at the age of twenty, my dad didn't disown me or harm my husband when he found out what we'd done. He laughed and then he said, 'Now, the real work begins.' Truer words were never spoken.
My dad wasn't perfect, but he was my dad. I miss him every day, and I would trade anything to have even one more day with him.