Thank you for always being there, even when it was hard for you to be there. There are times in a boy's life when they don't understand what a father is going through until they become a father themselves. I remember tugging at your sheets in the afternoon to wake you up, so you could coach my baseball team. What I didn't realize was that you had just worked a tiring night shift and were just trying to get in those last couple of minutes in before you worked coaching our team. When you showed up to practice with your hair in disarray wear grey sweats, I laughed at you, not understanding that going from working to coaching every day was enough work in itself.
You always made us laugh, and you still do. We had a toy basketball net growing up, and we had quite a number of competitive games in our basement growing up playing with a plush ball. Many times, the shots kicked off the ceiling or rimmed in and out of the weak rim. But the carpeted court surrounded by an armchair and sofa was just as much a court as any NBA's stadium. When we played, my dad really got into it. He used to pretend dribble and say, "Butter" just before he took a shot. To our amazement, his little chant usually helped him. He had the habit of sinking multiple shots in a row, and he usually laughed and joked with how many more he could make. So when my one-year-old Sean got a Little Tikes hoop, my dad and I reprised a competition at my house. His chants of "Butter" came out and he continued sinking multiple shots and along with, came multiple bouts of laughter from the two of us. I simply shook my head at the man who never seemed to slow down.
You always helped out without question. When I wanted to build the greenhouse in the backyard, you were there. When I needed help with the fireplace, you were there. Whenever I needed help with landscaping, you were there. You were there to show me how to do things, even if it meant that we needed to figure things out together from many trials and tribulations.
You raised me a White Sox fan. I can't thank you enough for that. From a young age you would say, "Go Sox. Boo Cubs." Thank you, thank you, a million times thank you. Some of my best moments were growing up watching the Sox with you and talking baseball.
And perhaps most important of all, you taught me what it means to be a good father. By setting the example of being there for me, teaching me the importance of laughter, and helping me out without question, you showed me what is truly important in life. I wanted to share this post with the Internet to show just how proud I am to call you Dad. Thank you for all you have done for me, and Happy Birthday. I love you.