“Dad, you are not an anchor to hold us back, nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.”
Of all the roles Gregger played, this was his favorite. He cherished being “dad.” Doting. Goofy. Soft-hearted. Supportive. He worked tirelessly to be the best. To give the most. But pull back just a little when needed. Not much. That was the toughest part for him. His heart was super-sized. Especially when it came to his kids.
“Aside from being the best father a son could dream of my dad was also my best friend, my greatest mentor and will always be my hero. There are no words to express the joy I felt in every moment I shared with him on this earth. The way my dad lived life each and every day is something that I aspire to in the days, months and years ahead. My dad provided me with the best blueprint on how to live life; work hard, be persistent and passionate, but always remain caring and compassionate. Do what is right and always be kind to people. Always go the extra mile for others and appreciate those in your life.”
Gregger was a little “old school,” but in time the kids turned him into the “cool dad.” He kind of freaked when Adam and Ryan got their ears pierced in fifth and sixth grade. Then he realized those holes could grow back. And they did. Years later those earrings were long gone. Good decision not to fight those small battles. When Ashley begged for the belly button ring, he cringed. But they too reached a mutual understanding. He was a strict one, but compromise worked. At least it worked in our household. Communicate. Listen. Respect. He valued their individuality. Their differences. He learned there is no rule book for parenthood. If you had a plan, chances are life would change it. So be prepared.
Gregger never thought about being a good person, a role model. He just was. It was his nature. Throughout his life, he showed his kids “his way.”
*Appreciate the little things.
*Do what is right.
*Accept people for who they are, not who you want them to be.
*Work hard. Fight for success.
*Take time. Time for family. Time for yourself. Time to love. Time to enjoy.
*Mistakes are okay. Learn from them.
*Accept responsibility. Own up. Never blame.
*Love with all your heart. It will never steer you wrong.
If Greg had one wish for his kids it was to believe in themselves. To follow their dreams. To be confident. To find courage and strength against the worst fears. To fight when they’re down. To cheer when they’re up. And NEVER, NEVER give up. Especially in the face of adversity.
“Dad, my best friend, my role model, my superman, the first man I loved, my angel…I cannot thank you enough for everything you did for me, taught me, and for all the love you showered me with throughout the years. You made me laugh at the worst of times and taught me not to sweat the small stuff. You always made me feel like the prettiest girl in the room and could never tell me enough how proud you were of me. You make us all want to be better people. You were an angel on earth, and now the best, most handsome guardian angel I could imagine.”
11 1/2 months ago the kids thought their world had fallen apart. They lost their best friend. Their hero. Their superstar. But they’ve planted their feet on the ground. They’ve stepped up. And they have risen to the top. The brilliant bright lights in the sky? Gregger’s joy. Glowing. Beaming. Bursting. He knows. And his legacy will continue because they carry him in their hearts. Forever.