My father was a quiet, caring, hard-working man’s man who always put his family and friends first. He had little by way of a formal education, but could do anything he set his mind to and he taught me not to be afraid of a challenge. He was also intensely loving, emotional, and creative – a side of him many may not have known. He was an entrepreneur, a mechanic, and a small business owner that could fix anything. Later in life, he even taught himself professional photography, took up Tai Chi and Chi Gong (mastering them enough to lead a group in the park). He was always driven to keep learning new things and learning to do them to the absolute best of his ability. I never saw him do anything half way. Even AFTER retiring from the auto repair field in his 60’s (only after a second open heart surgery), taught himself enough about computers and software to build and maintain them. The older I got, the more I appreciated these things about him. Cancer took him far before I think he was done, but he left me with many valuable lessons – many of which can be summed up in these few words that he repeated to me whenever he saw that I was feeling overwhelmed or discouraged: “Just get up every morning, and do whatever you have to do to get through.” I know that he’s watching over me now and still feel his encouragement in subtle signs throughout my day. I will forever feel very fortunate and blessed to have had such a man for a father and can only hope to live up to his example in my own life.