Happy Father’s Day! I am so lucky to have the best dad in the world. I could share hundreds of stories about how much fun I had growing up and all he did for us and the support he constantly showed. I could talk about when I dropped out of college and he came to pick me up and told me “as long as you’re happy, that’s all that matters”. The love, the childhood we had, the long days spent at swim meets, the road trips (hahahahaha), the family vacations, I appreciate it all … but in the last three years I have learned so much more about what an amazing dad I have. I am also really lucky to have a wonderful father-in-law.
When Duane was diagnosed with ALS none of us REALLY knew what that meant. We didn’t know what the future held or what we would need to do or how we would need to modify the house. My dad was always there to build something or listen to me cry or talk me through how to fix something over the phone. Lee (my father-in-law) was always there to talk to Duane and tell him to ease up on me and be nice! hahahaha
They are the handiest two people I know – they can do anything! They built ramps so Duane could get in and out of the house, adjusted banisters to allow him to get upstairs for a bit longer, adjusted railings, put together equipment, adjusted equipment and made our life easier. They worked on cars and boats. Their trips to visit us were never a vacation, they were work trips. As much as they did to help us, they also took care of me. When we were living in Arizona I wanted a garden. My dad flew from North Carolina to build it (well to visit and while he was there he built me one). A month later, it was incredibly hot there and my garden was not doing well, Lee came out from Florida and built me a cover for it.
They came to visit in alternating months. They were never with us at the same time. It was great because they were the only two Duane actually listened to. They were the only ones who could tell Duane that the way he wanted to do something was maybe not the best way to do it and offer a different solution. They were the two he listened to and trusted to build things for us. They would sit with him and discuss plans and then build whatever it was according to what they had discussed, constantly checking in with him to make sure they were “doing it right”. They have the patience of saints. They catered to Duane’s need to still be in control and have a role in what was being done. They listened to me lose my shit when he was being hard me and expecting me to do things that were practically impossible. They taught me new ways to do things so they would still get done but in a way I could actually do it. They were the only two that actually told Duane when he was wrong and didn’t always take his side. They were the only ones that weren’t “afraid” to hurt his feelings and they were the only ones that he couldn’t “manipulate”. Having them there was heaven.
I am so lucky. I can still call both of them for building, boat and gardening advice. They both text me pictures of their gardens and make me feel totally inadequate with my potted plants pretending to be a garden. They are the best men I know! I hope they both had a wonderful Father’s Day!!!
– xoxo Victoria