My father, a larger than life figure who was strong, brave and who possessed a killer sense of humor, lost his battle with brain cancer 8 years ago today. When he was diagnosed, he was given 4 months to live yet lived another 2 1/2 years. He was strong as hell and we all thought if anyone could scare the shit out of cancer, it'd be him.
He underwent surgery one month before my wedding and was strong enough to walk me down the aisle, give a kick ass speech before dinner and take me for a few sweet spins around the room during our father-daughter dance.
Well before he received his own cancer diagnosis, he worked on behalf of families dealing with the devastating effects of cancer. The organization he gave his time, effort and money to, turned around and named a charity golf tournament in his honor, creating the annual #SteveDoddsClassic. My father, an amazingly skilled and talented golfer (and all around athlete), would be so humbled to know this event is still in full swing (sorry, had to).
I'm late to the phenomenon known as Hamilton, the musical. I've been playing the soundtrack on repeat these last two-ish weeks and it's made me think of legacy... "Who lives, who dies, who tells your story?" While my father's story has not been fully told (perhaps it never will be), he will always loom large in my life, regardless of the ups and downs of our relationship. I think he'd be more than pleased to know we speak of him often, sharing his many colorful stories and jokes, shedding tears when we think of all he's missed in these 8 years. This last weekend, we celebrated his mother's 100th birthday! It was a lovely day filled with plenty of laughter but he was greatly missed, his absence felt throughout the room.
Steven Craig Dodds, son, husband, father, and grandfather, veteran, hero, gifted athlete, philanthropist and much more, will live on through all who were lucky enough to know him and even those who didn't get the chance. My boys will know the stories as if they'd been there to experience them firsthand.