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Today is my father's birthday. He is the bravest man I know.

Today is also the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. That event took place on my father's 9th birthday. My father had just gotten out of school when his older sister came to him and told him the news.

My father has fought type 1 diabetes his entire life. He'll probably be fighting it for the rest of his life (which I fear shall be less than ten years). He recently had a mini-stroke while I was away. This, coupled with my mother having to be taken to the hospital when I was here is really too much. My father pretty much continues to work the same hours he worked before the stroke (4 a.m. to 3:30 pm - 11 1/2 hours). He has Fridays off now, which is nice. But when it comes to work he can't be stopped.

My father is a supervisor at work but that doesn't stop him from joking around with his co-workers and employees working under him. He doesn't go too far or let it get out of control, but you know. His team likes him very much and he enjoys working with them. I've seen this humorous side of my father, but not as much as them, I think.

I hate type 1 diabetes more than I hate just about anything. He was born with it and he'll probably have it till the day he dies. I've seen what it's done to hurt my father. I have my own medical problems but his is much worse and I would much rather sooner seen Diabetes destroyed and wiped out before my own disease. But I'm much afraid that that won't happen in either his lifetime or my own.

My father and I have been to many U of M football games and I've enjoyed every one of them. Even the time that it was my birthday and we lost and every form of precipitation possible was there that day. I was together with my Dad at every game, we shared a love of U of M college football more than anyone in our family, and we always had fun. We both loved the heart and spirit of college athletes and dislike the mostly money-hungry athletes of professional sports. The college players were playing for their team and their love of the game and the professionals mostly weren't.

Your best friend always sticking up for you
Even when I know you're wrong

-"Drops of Jupiter" by Train

My dad might be my best friend. I'm not sure. It probably seems unusual and such but it's true. I've done some pretty bad things in my 24 years but my dad has always supported me and loved me. And I appreciate and love him for that. When just about most parents would have thrown their child out on their ass but my dad and mom didn't. And I'm thankful for that every day.

I love my dad and I always will. I know it won't happen and I know I'm terrible for thinking it but I don't think I'm not going to be able to stand my dad dying before me. It would be even more terrible for parents to lose a child so I will do everything I can to outlive him. It's also pretty bad but I'm probably not going to his funeral and the reception afterwards. I'll do anything he wants. If he wants me to cremate him I'll do that. If he wishes for me to go to his funeral and be a pall bearer I will, for him. But no way I'm going to the reception afterwards. I don't want to receive anyone. If our family, my dad's coworkers, and certain others want to tell me they're sorry, I'll understand and believe them and accept their mourning. But I swear to God if someone who barely knew my father and didn't really care about him says they're sorry I'll beat the living shit out of them. I don't want to hear someone telling me they're sorry when they knew next to nothing about my father and they didn't really care about him. But I'll try to control my temper and not do anything. I'll avoid confrontation. For him. But not for anyone else.

I love my dad more than about anyone else. He is the bravest man I've ever known and I have no doubt he always will be. I love you, Dad, and I'm sorry if I've ever disappointed you. You're my best friend and I'll never forget a single damn thing about you. Promise.

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