We are half way through our year-long series that explores topics to help us all experience a more mindful, present, and connected life. In honor of Father’s Day on June 21, Eastmark Community Representative Lori Chaplin reflects on the bond she had with her late father who passed away unexpectedly in 1997.
My Dad: Playmate, Best Friend, and Superhero
My father was more than just an authority figure or friend, he was my hero. He was a father to six children and a loving and supportive husband to my mom. My dad was a police officer for more than 30 years and worked opposite shifts from my mom so someone was always home with us. He embraced life every day like it was his last. His compassion, love, strength and humor shaped who I am today.
As a child my dad was one of my favorite playmates. From teaching me to ride a bike or how to kick a soccer ball, he showed me ways to stand on my own two feet. I can’t remember a time when he wasn’t there for me growing up, not only as a father, but as a best friend.
His compassion for helping people, even strangers was amazing. Friends of mine would go to him for advice or just a hug. Friends would call him at all hours of the day and night to talk to my dad in private because of problems they were having at home. If you asked any of my friends growing up, they would tell you how loving and caring he was and that they wished he was their dad.
He had a great sense of humor and was notorious for using an air horn to embarrass me. When he’d pick my friends and me up at the mall, he would be waiting outside in our van and sound the air horn as soon as we walked outside. And at my soccer games, he’d blast the air horn when I was put into the games.
One of the best memories I have of my dad illustrates the respect and influence he had on people. Once he stopped by my school on his way to work dressed in his police uniform. He and the principle had pulled two students out of class who were bullying me. He had a heart-to-heart talk with the kids in the hallway. Although I never knew what my dad said to them, the two kids never bothered me again. In fact, one of the kids is now a very dear friend and he has shared the lessons he learned with his own two children.
I now have three sons, and though they never met my father, they frequently ask about him and tell everyone that grandpa was mommy’s Superman.
Other articles in this series:
January: Welcome to a Bright New Year
February: Passion & Possibility
March: Curiosity & Creativity
April: Turn Your Passion into Action
May: Words of Wisdom
June: Always There
July: Pass the Ketchup, Please
August: The Moment of Truth
September: Being an Adult is Overrated
October: Why we Fall in Love with Autumn in Arizona
November: Practicing Gratitude
December: ‘Tis the Season for Magic
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