Right now, my Dad is sitting in a lodge overlooking a lake after spending the day fishing in Alaska. For the first time that I can remember, my Dad is doing something for him and only him.
I couldn't be happier than thinking about my Dad finally doing something he always talked about doing.
As fathers go, I couldn't ask for a better one. He has been there for me in every capacity that anyone can hope for in a father. It has only been the last 10 years that I have realized that.
I always looked at my father as a provider and someone that I could depend on for shelter, food, and security. He was an aeronautical engineer and was one of the most respected men in his field.
It was his work ethic and desire for perfection in his own work that led me to believe that he was unapproachable for fear of disappointing him. Little did I know that was as far from the truth as could possibly be.
It took me a couple of divorces, a few dumb decisions on my part, and a custody battle over my oldest daughter for me to finally reach out to him for what I have always wanted from him: emotional support. Needless to say, he didn't disappoint when I succumbed and turned to him.
"Brett, your my son, and I will always love you no matter what you do. So, you made a mistake or a bad decision. You might not believe this, but I made a few in my time, too. And, I will probably make some more and so will you. You'll get through this."
From that moment on, I have never been intimidated by him or fearful of what he thought of me. A few more mistakes by me over the last year has only reinforced my trust in him as a father who will give me his ear no matter what time I call.
I called my step-mom tonight in hopes of getting a report of how his dream trip was going. She didn't disappoint with news that he caught his limit of salmon by 9:30 a.m. and was going to spend the rest of the day fishing for trout.
He used to always take my brothers and I trout fishing when were kids. The only selfish act my Dad did during those trips was force us to listen to Neil Diamond during the four-hour drive to the High Sierras.
He was so patient with us all. We had to drive him nuts with all the tangles we created with the fishing line, all the trees behind us we would hook into, and all the fighting between us boys over who was the better fishermen.
Looking back now, my brothers and I were wrong over who was the best fisherman. It was, and always will be my Dad.
Finally, he gets to enjoy it without worrying about what his boys are doing.