Brothers and sisters, My dad died Sunday, and I wanted to share. He lost a tough fight with Leukemia, after having been in remission for a year. It came back and took him in about 3 weeks. We were having a big party (to say goodbye), and he died with his whole family (wife, mother, children, grandchildren - even his puppy) right there with him. No regrets for us - we had our chances to say I love you and goodbye -but I wanted to share what my dad meant to me. So if you'll indulge me... My father taught me what it is to be a man. Through his actions, not his words, he showed me things I wouldnt understand until later in life when I would need them the most. He taught me that knowledge is more important than education, and the thirst for knowledge is more important than either. He taught me to do something you love, because being happy is more important than money. My father taught me to work hard, do the very best you can at what you do, and strive to be the best you can be. "If you do something," hed say, "do it right." At the end of the day, the only thing others can know about you is how well you do your job, and how well you treat others. He taught me to treat others well. My father taught me what it is to be honest. Even when its difficult, being truthful is the honorable thing to do. He taught me to stand up for what you believe in. For yourself, for your family, and for those who cannot stand up for themselves. My father taught me the importance of commitment. When you make a promise, you keep it. Pure and simple. He taught me to provide for my family. Food and shelter are easy, time is much more difficult, and much more important. Most importantly, he taught me to laugh. Laughter sweetens the good times, makes great memories, and gets us through the toughest of times. My father didnt talk a lot during his life, but he gave me many lessons. Most of them I was too young, too stubborn or too proud to listen to at the time. He didnt stop teaching, and Im glad to say he didnt give up. I hope he understood that somewhere along the line, they sank in. I get it now, Dad. If anyone is really feeling inclined, please go donate a pint of blood. My pop recieved so many blood products in his fight, and they really made his life bearable. Failing that, you could always donate to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Association. Life is short, LiveStrong.