My dad is 85. He has had a bad heart for 31 years, including 2 triple bypass surgeries. He was supposed to die in 1979 from heart failure. He worked for decades in a filthy machine shop, running dangerous machines. For all those years, he breathed the exhaust that spewed out, got drenched in oil and beat his hands to a pulp. He got up at 5:00 every day and worked in miserable conditions. I remember him coming home and he smelled like burned oil. He worked while sick and in every kind of weather. Because of his years of hard manual labor on outdated machines, he had the strongest grip of any man I had ever met.

I describe him as tough. He was tough because his family needed him to be. We have a lot to learn from his generation.

I don’t know how much longer my dad will be around. At 85, every day is a gift. But he is so tough, my brothers and I joke about how, one day, he will bury all of us.

So here is a happy Father’s Day wish for him.

I love you, Dad.

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