Just re-posting my tribute to my dad...i miss him today.
"My dad passed away (8) years ago on June 18th...three weeks before my first baby was born. I still find that I have moments where it hits me hard that he is no longer here; that my boys will never get to really know him...only through stories and pictures.
There are many wonderful memories I have of my dad, but the most prominent one is that of his big, strong hands.
My dad was a strong, quiet man. His hands were calloused and big as bricks. But they were also very gentle when it came to holding his children or grandchildren.
When my dad held my hand, his hand seemed to swallow mine up. It seemed those hands were never idol. When my dad was younger, those hands rescued kittens, played the guitar, worked on plane engines, bowled, played pool, went fishing, worked around the house, went camping, built model airplanes, & played with his children and grandchildren.
As my dad grew older, and his body and heart started to give out, he could no longer do the things he loved. But he did not give up. He developed new passions, sought out new avenues to keep those hands busy. From gardening to cooking, to wood working & painting, to drinking Stewart's coffee (his morning ritual), and of course still holding his grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren.
He didn't rely on others to make him happy. His happiness came from within. He lived a simple, honest life that we could all learn from. And even though those strong but gentle hands will never hold my boys (or me again), I know that my dad is watching over us; that his spirit is sending us love and hugs. I love you dad, and I miss those big, strong hands."