OK, let me warn you – this is going to get a little sappy, and admittedly this is the most personal and hardest post I have written to date.

Last week, my mentor, coach, motivator, biggest critic and greatest fan, my father, un-expectantly passed away. Last week, he was golfing, playing tennis, collaborating with reporters on a local development story and dancing on a cruise ship with his life-long partner, my mom, and the next day he was gone. The days of walking in a fog of disbelief and grief have slowly evolved to a feeling of great appreciation.

His services were yesterday morning. The church, where he served as an usher for the past 30 years, was packed. The man was phenomenal and he lived a wonderful life. He lived the life he deserved; the athletic championships, the business accolades, the loving, life-long, beautiful wife and the respect and admiration of countless friends and colleagues.

He went out and pursued it all. He didn’t sit back simply wanting things to get better, he proactively made the choices and took the risks to succeed. He focused on making everyone around him be in position to succeed. This is the greatest lesson my father has left me.

Whenever I achieved something, he congratulated me, told me he was proud of me and then immediately asked “what’s next”. He pushed me and held me accountable. He gave me advice on alternative approaches, to any personal or professional challenge and/or opportunity in front of me. Inevitably, his advice was spot on.

Such a figure is irreplaceable.  However, I will always remember his lessons and his love, and consistently reinforce what he shared. The grief I feel is seemingly insurmountable, but I have been taught, nothing is impossible. Thank you Dad. I love you.

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