There’s a special rare Saturday post today because it’s my dad’s birthday!

He’s always been the embodiment of “tough”–worked outside, worked hard, could climb a telephone pole, once fell off a telephone pole and broke a kneecap yet kept working–but in the last couple years, in Mom’s illness and death, he’s been more than tough: He’s been brave.

Tough is working hard to support your loved ones; brave is watching your loved one die while showing up for her every step of the way. Tough is ignoring pain; brave is living with pain every day and still making a life for yourself. Brave is figuring out new routines, new meals, new hobbies. My dad is so brave.

He’s always shown us what it means to be strong and live according to “The Cowboy Way,” but seeing his bravery, his patience, and his endurance in the face of everything has been inspiring. Thanks for setting example for us, Dad. I love you.