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My Dad Was the Hero No One Else Knew

I have to admit that I nearly forgot that this is Father’s Day weekend. Maybe it was my own subconscious trying to save me from getting all sentimental. It nearly worked. But, this is the one time of year that always reminds me of my dad.

You more than likely did not know my father, but he was a hero. He didn’t do any of the typical ‘hero’ things you hear about on the news. But, to the people that knew him, there were few people who were more honorable than my dad.

My dad was one of the youngest children from a very large family. He grew up during a time when most families didn’t have much and, what they did have, was because the entire family (kids included) worked. My dad spent his entire life working.

Since he was a teenager during the 1940’s, he went into the Army. World War 2 was still raging and my dad did what his country asked of him. He was a military police officer that served on Okinawa Island in Japan.

After the war, my dad worked at a rock quarry, gas station and eventually became a postal worker. Not exactly hero stuff by most people’s standards.

So, why would I refer to him as a hero? 

My dad never sought the spotlight. Matter of fact, he hated crowds and didn’t want attention. But, he married my mother and stayed with her his entire life. He never missed any of my baseball or football games. He put up with me during my teenage years. (For that, he should have received a medal)

My dad fell from a ladder and broke his back right after retiring from the post office in the late 1980’s. Right after that, he found out that he had colon cancer. But, when my mom got sick, he never left her side and was more concerned about her health than his own.

My dad fought his cancer for over 20 years until he passed away right after Father’s Day in 2011. I held his hand as he took his last breath. The last thing he saw was a picture of his grandchildren that was posted by his bed. It had to be that way. He loved them more than anything else in his life.

If you had a dad like this, you know exactly what I’m talking about. He was what most of the world would have considered a ‘regular guy’ who did nothing noteworthy. But, to me and my mom and his friends, he was a hero. His name was Bob Holliday. And, as I do every Father’s Day, I remember and honor him.

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