I just wanted to take a minute to wish you all a very Happy Gary's Day!
"Umm, Dubba, It's Father's Day"
Yes, I know that, I was at the father's day brunch, so I know what day it is. Thing is, it's a weird day for those of us lacking a certain positive parental role model. Thankfully, sometimes someone steps in to fill those shoes. In my case, his name is Gary.
He's not so much a father figure as he is a friend, mentor, and guardian angel. When I was trying to land my first full time job, he got me a job at his company. When that company fell apart, he found me another job at his new company. And even when I tried to ditch him for a start-up that fell apart, he got me my job back. I never thought I was deserving of this confidence in my abilities, but he never gave up, never wavered in his faith of me.
This is more than him being the best boss ever. This is him always being in the right spot when I needed someone to show me the way. The teenage years are confusing when you don't have a dad around. If I needed advice on anything, he was there. My wife teases me that I'm his fourth kid. I even remember telling him I had a girlfriend but I didn't know how to tell my mom. He told me honesty was the best policy, and he was right. (That girlfriend would be my wife someday)
I don't remember exactly when it was, but he taught me a philosophy that I live by to this day. Hopefully I can convey it to you. We were trying to fix a computer and the conversation went something like this.
Gary: Ok, give it a try
Me: Well, what if I break it?
Gary: If you break it, we'll fix it, no big deal.
That may sound simple, it may not even seem like advice, but when you are a kid with no confidence, this was a turning point for me. From that moment on, I feared less and trusted myself more. Oh sure, I've broken plenty of crap along the way, but Gary was there to help me fix it. The man has the biggest heart I know of. Even when I was cranky or being a jerk, he was still watching out for me and helping me through the mess. In time, I learned to keep calm and focused. Now when stuff breaks, people freak out, but I'm the one sitting there going "we'll fix it, no big deal".
So, to this great man who has bought me more blizzards and hot fudges sundaes then you can possibly imagine, I say thanks. You deserve a day because I know you'll never let me repay you for all you've done for me... I mean that literally, I've tried, he won't let me pay him back.