I don’t know how to ride a bike because of an unfortunate incident with a brick mailbox. I spend hours every week looking for my next home — even when I’m not in the market — because of my love of houses and their interiors. I can’t take a vacation without perusing TripAdvisor to find the number one hotel or the top restaurant in the area that I just have to visit before leaving. I think Nueske bacon is the only kind of bacon that anyone should ever eat. I take pleasure in a good beer and an even better laugh with friends. I love spending time outdoors and I think a weekend at the lake is the perfect escape. I like hosting parties and surrounding myself with a good group of people. I enjoy camping and peaceful nights under the stars. I believe hard work is the key to success, and it usually means starting at the bottom. I enjoy going to Wrigley Field and staring at the ivy, or hearing “…and now, your Chicago Bulls…” at the United Center. I think the band Chicago is one of the best things to come out of the city of Chicago. I know that friends are family.
Tomorrow marks one year since my dad died, and the only way I know how to deal with my feelings about it is to write — write down every part of me that is all because of him. I wish I could capture it all on paper and go back through each and every memory. From trips to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to St. Thomas, we were lucky to see quite a bit. Lucky to share precious memories. Now, I feel luckier to have his Pandora radio stations programmed just to hear what kind of music he’d be listening to if he was with us right now. Lucky to have a brother that looks more and more like him every day. Lucky to have a mom who continues to hold the two of us up. Lucky to have friends who are family. Lucky to have a fiance who has been the ultimate backbone this year through all of my ups and downs.
I wish every day that my dad would be here as a plan my beautiful wedding. I wish he could dance to the band I know he’d love, take a shot of whiskey with the campers and walk me down the aisle. I wish he was here sitting in his recliner helping me design the home of my dreams. But, I know he’s right next to me every step of the way, and every day I am thankful for every part of me that is because of him.