Poor guy, he was part of that 40's-50's mentality which convinced men that honor as a father was achieved by putting food on the plates. The more you worked, indeed the harder you worked, the better you fit the mold of the ideal father. So my dad slugged away, pouring himself into his job at the post office, working nights and holidays because that meant more take-home pay.
All that work robbed me and my siblings of a lot of his time. So when we did get time with him, real quality alone-with-Dad time, it was rich. I have two favorite recollections in this vein. One is of playing catch with him. The other is rather weird: I was a Warner Bros. cartoon addict. Occasionally, Dad would plop down with a 30-minute set of 3 Roadrunner cartoons about to commence. He would laugh so hard that tears came to his eyes, and it somehow meant a lot to me that we shared an affinity for something so worthless.
He had integrity oozing from his pores. He was friends with everyone. He had old girlfriends stashed in multiple states and would even drop in on them unexpectedly during our family car trips, something my mom wasn't too keen on. And he buried in our collective noggins the notion to always do the right thing. Always.
I can't wait to see him again.