My dad, Stephen Ian Knowlton, passed away on May 31st, 2017.
Damn, I learned a lot from him.
There were the outdoors skills (how to pitch a tent and tie a fisherman’s knot), the sports knowledge (how to make a bank shot, run a play-action, why Magic and Kareem were great), and cooking (trick garlic bread, bird’s nest, french toast). This list is not exhaustive.
Then there were the slightly less-obvious things: how to have fun playing an instrument (he loved playing the guitar and singing songs by The Beatles), the right mindset for playing youth sports (“have fun and do your best“), that throwing a temper tantrum was never the right option no matter what I was upset about (I only tried once).
Sometimes the lessons were confusing: “don’t apologize, just don’t do it again” never seemed to be consistent in its application.
And other times I had to learn from his struggles: addiction can haunt even the strongest.
But I did learn. From his frustration, sorrow, and regret. And from his persistence, happiness, and love. From all of it.
I am eternally and infinitely grateful.