My dad. He is a veteran. He served his country with dignity and pride during the Vietnam War. For years, he participated in military clubs to bring awareness about Vietnam. I remembered going to all those Veteran's Day parades because he was marching.
He is an artist at heart. You have never seen a snowman sculpture until you saw his. He has made several pieces out of welded materials. It is a part of him he didn't pursue fully, probably because he was being a dad to four girls.
He is now a Papi. He loves to recognize his former life through our kids. I know he relives our childhood every time he is around his grandkids.
This is the perfect example. He has an antique Schwinn bicycle that is in beautiful condition. He wheeled it out one day this past summer and wanted to take each kid for a ride on the middle bar or the back basket.
Being a helicopter mom, I wasn't sure. There weren't helmets. My kids hadn't done that before. But he insisted and reminded me that I was alive and well even after all our childhood adventures.
I allowed it. It was awesome to see my kids giggling and loving the ride. He told me that Ella laughed just the way that I did thirty plus years ago when he brought me for my first ride. It brought him right back.
Watching him beam with pride, it took me right back too.
This is his everyday life. My war hero. The man who sacrificed so much for his country. He did that so he could ride on this Schwinn and make his grandkids feel the wind on their faces. True, simple freedom.