Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrating the Unsung Hero on Father's Day

Have I told you about my dad? He's one of the big reasons we're back in the U.S. (But don't tell him that.)
That's dad on the left making faces. Go figure. 

Born in August 1953, he grew up in the Midwest with an older brother and two parents who he doesn't remember a ton about, at least he doesn't talk much about them. There are small stories here and there that come up, something about hardboiled eggs I remember.

Ethel, my grandma, died of lung cancer on her 39th birthday. My dad was 9. Joseph, my grandfather, died of a heart attack at 47. It was 11 days after my dad's 12th birthday.

Dad grew up with a stepmother and joined the Navy as soon as he could. He often tells me about being stationed in the Mediterranean where he worked on the ship's computer. He likes to tell me about the work his ship did for Israel during the early 1970s, which I think is pretty rad. When he was 23 and my mom was 18, they got hitched and started a family in Kansas City, Missouri.

Between the late 1970s and the mid-1990s we lived in Iowa and then Southern Missouri, my dad was a superstar-rockstar manager for a large building materials company that ended up taking their amazing employees for granted, going bankrupt, and the CEOs walked away with boatloads of money.

But it didn't break my dad. He kept on trucking. He kept focusing on his family, working nights, working overtime, working hard and long hours to keep food on the table.

Then my dad suffered through a quadruple bypass surgery, followed by a diagnosis of Lymphoma. But that didn't break my father either. Nothing has ever broken my dad. I can't get over how much he's been through (it seriously brings tears to my eyes) and how much he's been taken for granted by employers, employees, friends, family, you name it.

He's the kind of guy who lays wisdom on you that you don't always get ("If wishes were fishes, we'd all be fishin'"). He'd bend over backwards to make sure a coworker is doing okay. He'd walk home miles if it meant he wasn't putting someone else out. He'd give up everything for his family's happiness (to a fault).

He's really the ultimate hero. He didn't fight in a major war or jump in front of a moving vehicle to save a puppy or create a life-saving drug. He isn't famous. He isn't making or giving millions to save the rainforest or feed starving children. But he's a hero, of the unsung variety.

Why? Because anyone who suffers the greatest losses and comes out still trying, still living, still loving ... that's a hero. To me, anyway.

So tell me about your dad. Why? Because dads rock. They're amazing and they're undervalued in my opinion. Mr. T is an amazing dad who, much like my own father, would bend over backwards to help anyone anywhere (they do say you marry your father, right?).

Then, if you love your dad and you love Target (ahem, who doesn't?), enter the Power Dad’s Smile Everyday Sweepstakes with over $1,000 in prizes starting today!

To Enter: Share a photo of you and your Dad on Twitter or Instagram using #oralbsweeps between June 2 and June 15.

The Prize: You could win the Father’s Day Power Bundle which includes the Oral-B Black ProfessionalCare 1000 Rechargeable Toothbrush, the Braun Series 7 760 shaver, and a $250 Target Gift Card!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.