I grew up in Chicago, so I've always been a Bears fan. Dad used to take me to Bears games and Cubs games. My brother used to ride me over to Lake Forest College on his Honda Supersport and we'd watch the Bears practice. I remember those guys out there as monsters - they were the biggest things I've ever seen!
My mother tried really hard to protect us, but occasionally, after afternoon cartoons of whatever was on... the nightly news would come on, and I'd see footage from the war zone, and I would hear the word 'Vietnam,' and I would know my dad was over there, and it was a very frightening experience for me.
The grief of losing my father has come in waves over the years, as it does with most people. His love and devotion as a father provided my closest, most intimate relationship. Dad, and our time together, is in my bones. While reflecting on him, the memories themselves seem to boil down into certain 'essences of Dad.'
I was born into a Christian family and brought up in a Lutheran church. My faith has been the center point of my life, really, since I was a child, but at 16 years of age, I fully surrendered my life over to Christ. At that point, as a teenager, I began to grasp the concept of Christ's true love and forgiveness.