|(l to r) Stefan, me, and Dad enjoying some beers and laughing about life, Germany 2008|
it's no surprise to many when i say that my dad and i didn't get along that well. we butted heads a lot. but even through all of the disagreements, i think both of us were thinking, "(s)he's a lot like me." i have learned a lot about my dad in the past few weeks, from people that he was friends with and people that he worked with. i've gotta tell you, what they said surprised me to a certain extent, but then again...
through our stubbornness, we have seen some friends come and go. it's the friends that stick beside you through thick and thin that matter the most. it's the friends that can look past your stubbornness and see a drive and a will like no other to get a project done or to attain a goal. true friends realize this. the others step aside and don't realize what they are missing.
through stubbornness there are regrets, for sure. regrets for the relationships that couldn't stand up to a passionate energy that sometimes does not have the decency to be polite, but is instead brutally honest.
through the kind words that others have said about my father: "He was always telling us guys what you kids were doing and how proud he was of your accomplishments. He was the adoring father even though his sometimes gruff German manners did not let it show. We all knew how he cared." i've reflected a lot on what others have said about me as well. and i've realized how much my father and i really were alike in so many ways--for good and for bad.
i'm thankful today for the friends and family who have stuck by me for good and for bad. i'm also thankful for the people that stepped aside or walked away from me. because what i have learned from them has been so important as well. sometimes we learn more from failure, and sometimes failure is not that at all--it is an opening to something new and different that would have otherwise been unrealized.
i'm thankful for my father and his stubbornness to see his goals to fruition. for his passionate drive to do what he thought was right even if others thought differently. i'm thankful for what i learned from him, for good and for bad. because even what seems wrong or unfair at the time, somehow always has a way of working out to be for the best in the end.