A Real Piece of Work

My Dad is a real piece of work. Not the figure of speech “real piece of work” like you’re thinking, as in dishonest or poor in character, but quite the opposite. My dad is a piece of work like the Mona Lisa is for Da Vinci, or the Sistine Chapel is for Michelangelo, or the Moonlight Sonata is for Beethoven, or Hamlet for Shakespeare, or Falling Water for Frank Lloyd Wright . . . you get the picture (pun intended.) He’s a real masterpiece.

Wikipedia defines a masterpiece as “any work of art that is extraordinary.” And my Dad is nothing short of extraordinary. He is an original work of art designed and molded by Master hands. That doesn’t make him a perfect person or even a perfect father for that matter (there’s only One of those) but he is a perfect Masterpiece and the perfect dad for me.

Of course, by today’s standards, an extraordinary father isn’t much. If all you have is contact with your father, your doing far better than the majority of kids today. My dad, though, is the real deal, an absentee father by no means, the epitome of a good father, the quintessential dad. He’s the Vietnam vet, the coal miner, a husband of 38 years, the midget football coach, the school board candidate, the church goer, the entertainer, the survivor, the lifeguard, the solid rock. These are not some kind of empty descriptions of my dad used to honor him just because it’s Father’s Day. These are accurate accomplishments that speak more about who he is than about what he has done.

He is sacrificial, surrendering his college aspirations to fight for our country and its freedoms. He is a hard-worker, working a difficult and hazardous job as a coal miner to support his family and having the courage and fortitude to make a one-eighty occupationally when mining coal was mining him of his health (back problems). He is now “mining gold” of sorts, helping others invest their money wisely. He is the faithful husband, 38 years and counting, who always demonstrates (at least that I can remember) respect and love toward my mom. He is involved, not just because he was the midget football coach, but because he is the life coach and cheerleader, always there to guide and encourage us (my brother and I). He is an advocate, passionate toward good causes, running for school board when educational priorities were being neglected and starting a progressive non-profit organization to promote education in the school district. He is a man of faith, devoutly attending church on a weekly basis and serving as a lector. He is a constant source of humor, often finding the lighter side of things. Of course, one will never forget his performances in the annual adult lip sync, especially the Dirty Dancing re-enactment (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”). He is iron-willed, not giving in to foot surgery, ankle surgery, two back surgeries, an infection that left him unable to talk or walk for a period, chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant, with the passing of another year making him a nine year cancer survivor. And if that wasn’t enough, he withstood the stringent requirements of lifeguard certification just a few years ago that even some 18 years-olds couldn’t endure. Need I say more. My dad is rock solid––not just in character but in determination and physical stature as well.

Dad, I can’t think of anything more blogworthy today than you. If this is the official day set aside to honor fathers, then I couldn’t blog enough about the caliber father that you are. You are a model for other fathers to replicate. The good thing about a masterpiece is its originality––imitations are never quite as valuable. You are tops, Dad! I love you!


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