Father’s Day had me thinking about my dad. He passed away 12 years ago, but honestly, I can still see him sitting across my kitchen table with a filter-less cigarette. Yes, I said filter-less. My dad was as gruff as a Billy goat.right down to his smokes. Camels.

The thing I remember most about my dad is that he could string together a set of profanities like no other person I ever knew or expect to meet. My dad was a sailor, and learned to swear like one. I’m actually proud of him for it. No one could swear like my old man. It was almost a thing of beauty. When he was really ticked, he rolled the profanities together like a piece of artwork: “Geeee-zuzz-Kay-Riste-Almighty, Marian,” he would say to my Mom. And I would smile, proud to be a sailor’s daughter.

I think I take after him. I’ve been known to string a few profanities together in my day. I’m trying to change that but it’s hard when you grew up thinking it was music to your years. I give ups swearing every Lent and by the end of Ash Wednesday, I’m always defeated.

But I’m like him in other ways, too. I never knew a man who worked harder. He raised eight kids on a tool and die maker’s salary, mortgaging the house three times (that I’m aware of). And he did it beautifully.

Dad, I’m proud of you, on Father’s Day and every day. Thank you for being as tough as Billy goat. I couldn’t face the world each day without a little bit of sailor in me.