My dad is a swim coach and teacher in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is just across the river from Omaha. He has lived there now, and has done his thing, for roughly 45 years. In this time he has really been able to plant some roots and touch a lot of people. A lot. Last weekend, about 200 people threw him a roast. They got up and talked about him, talked about his family, his good deeds, and poked some fun at him. 200 people found him important enough to go out of their way and contribute to his toasting/roasting. I wasn't able to go: new job, no plane fare--and for that I feel like a real turd. They mentioned me several times, and his relationship with me (and my 15 year old sister, Kelsey), showed a few old-timey photos, etc. I haven't talked to him yet--another thing that I feel pretty bad about--but my mom mentioned that he missed me that night.
Pops, if I could touch a quarter of the people you have touched so far in your life, and if I could be a quarter of the man you are and have been, than I am doing something right. I'm sorry I missed your roast, but I'm at the very front of the line when it comes to the people that love you.