We knew his time was coming but as you can imagine, it's been a very emotional week. It took me a lot of years in life to realize how incredibly lucky I was to have not only a good dad, but a great one. There are far too many people with fathers who abandon, abuse, neglect, etc., but mine did none of those things. He was always there when I needed him, always helping me learn and grow to be a better person even when I didn't see the lessons for what they were. He was also a loving husband and companion to my mom, and I'm so grateful that their 60-year marriage taught me how to build a strong foundation for my own family.
I take after my dad in a lot of ways, and I see many qualities of him in my children as well, and it's comforting to know his legacy lives on in that way. My dad was a large animal veterinarian by trade and his profession was also his hobby. My dad loved to ride and train horses and mules, and my absolute favorite memories of my time with my dad are the times he took me horseback riding.