I will never forget his laugh.  Not only did he seem to laugh all of the time, but also when he did you could not help but to laugh too.  Sometimes he would laugh so hard he could barely breathe and his eyes would begin to tear up.  There were even times that I got scared because he would be laughing so hysterically that I was afraid he would run out of breath.  When he laughed it was as if time stood still, and for that moment you could not help but be filled with an unmeasurable amount of warmth and happiness seeing him still able to find humor in the silliest things - no matter how terrible his condition may have been.

Only a few short years before I sat in the bleachers with my mom as we watched my brother play basketball while my dad coached – it was one of the first games he coached at the high school.  As I watched my dad pace back and forth during the game, calling out plays, I noticed him limp as he walked.  I turned to my mom and asked her, “What is wrong with dad’s leg?  Why is he limping?”

She told me he had fallen on the same hip playing basketball at a friend’s house two Sundays in a row.  Although that usually would not be any cause for real concern I still felt as though something wasn’t right.  As time wore on, so did Dad’s limp.  I remember my mom and him going to many different doctors to figure out what was wrong.  Many tests and many months went by but no one had a clue. Then one day mom and dad came home knowing the answer - Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Who knew that what was first thought of as just a common injury could become something that would turn our lives completely around in just a couple of years.

But in spite of that terrible diagnosis he continued to laugh.  Knowing that he was still able to have such a sense of humor, and really enjoy all of the littlest things while he was sick shows what an amazing person he was and what an amazing spirit he always will be….

Dad, I miss you so much and think about you every day.