Your two-year anniversary is in just a few days. June 2nd. Crazy to think it’s been two years already.
I miss you. We all do.
There has never been anyone like you, and there never will be again.
There are plenty of people with character. Plenty of people with a good sense of humor. Plenty of people who love their family. Plenty of people with funny quirks (like leaving a Billy Joel concert because the music was too loud).
But no one has combined them into one awesome package quite like you did.
My favorite memories of you are the simple ones, the just Dedo and Andy ones. You would be laying on your pillow at the foot of your bed watching TV. I would come in and lay down beside you, and you’d give me a back rub. Just you and me.
In seventh grade, we only played three games that season for basketball, and we lost all three. We lost the last game by quite a bit. You drove me home from the game, and you told me that you would help me become a better basketball player. You would teach me the fundamentals, including how to dribble and shoot better.
I had no idea how the hell you were going to do that, because you never played a game of ball in your life. I just appreciated that you wanted to help me out.
In high school, I was about to take the SAT for the second time, and you helped me study for the math portion of it. My verbal score stayed the same, and I upped the math score by 20 points.
About 13 years later, you helped me study for the math portion of the GRE. You and I had tutoring sessions over Skype while Erin watched TV in the living room. At the end of the first tutoring session, I said “thank you,” and you got absolutely offended and told me to never thank you for anything again. I suppose that was your way of saying “this is my job and what I’m supposed to be doing!”
Ultimately, my marriage to Erin didn’t work out. But boy, did I love her. And so did you. You always treated her like your “favorite daughter-in-law”, as you used to call her. Thank you for that. I can thank you now that you won’t get offended 🙂
I remember very clearly you teaching me how to shave. It was pretty uneventful and matter of fact. Just wet your face, put the shaving cream on, and shave until it’s all gone. I’ve been doing it like that ever since.
You never taught me how to tie a tie, but you were so vehemently opposed to wearing them I didn’t mind. I learned from Matthew’s dad instead!
You got me curious about A/V equipment. You always hooked up our stereo systems and TV’s and such. I remember the stereo rig in the living room in Richmond. We had the receiver, the dual cassette player, six-disc CD changer, and a 16-band graphic equalizer.
You also taught me how to hook up two VCR’s so that we could make copies of videotapes. Though I always made sure to heed those FBI warnings and never copy a copyrighted tape 🙂
Occasionally, there would be pieces of furniture or other items that we’d have to put together with tools. You taught me how to use a hammer and a manual and electric screwdriver.
Once I got my own car, you taught me how to change a tire. You showed me how to use the jack to get the car up, and then the order in which to take off and screw on the lug nuts, etc.
Ever since you died, I’ve found myself listening to the Israeli song festival songs that we always played on car trips when I was a kid. I’m glad I was able to find those songs for you, beef up the sound, and give them to you for the last birthday and wedding anniversary that you were alive for. You were impossible to give gifts to; it meant so much to me to see how much you loved hearing those songs again.
I’m glad I cracked the “give Dad a gift that he likes” code before you died.
People have been telling me lately that you’re still with me every step of the way. I don’t really feel that. I think you’re right where I left you; six feet under in Mililani. I felt you with me periodically early on. I don’t really feel you with me now, and that’s ok.
You’re gone. Your time has come. And that’s ok.
You led a full, fantastic life. Ma and I love you and miss you. I become more and more like you the older I get. I’m my own man with my own personality forging my own path, and thankfully, I inherited many of your good qualities to help me be a good man.
Thank you for everything. I love you, and I hope you’re resting well.