My father passed away in 1991, two weeks before Christmas. I was 25 at the time but until then I had not grown up. I was still an ignorant youth that only cared about finding the next party. My role model was now gone, forcing me to reevaluate the direction my life was heading. I needed to reexamine some of the lessons he taught me through the years.
One of the earliest memories I have of my father is when he would take me to the park and we would play baseball. My father was eager to teach me everything he knew about the game, and I was eager to learn. He took it easy on me at first, allowing me to overcome my fear of being hit by the ball. Each time we went back to the park he would throw the ball a little harder. It was not long before I could catch almost anything he threw at me. My father also used his knowledge of the game to teach me to hit a baseball. Eventually, I was skilled enough to play any position on a baseball team.
When I turned six years old I was old enough to play on a Little League team, and my father volunteered to be the coach. He worked long hours but always found enough time to dedicate to the team. At first our team was not very good, but that would soon change. My father practiced us hard every week and by the end of the season we made the playoffs. Even though we did not win the Championship that year, our team had reason to be proud. We won a few games, and we had a lot of fun, thanks to my dad. I played baseball for a total of ten years, and he was my coach for at least half of them.
Education was very important to my father. Once I started attending school my grades took precedence over anything else in my life. My dad helped me with school work when I needed it, so bad grades were out of the question. The first few years of school went by without a hitch but when I started attending middle school things would change. I began to rebel and grades were no longer as important to me as they were to my father. My grades slipped to a C average, and that was not good enough. Instead of getting upset, my father encouraged me to apply myself. It took a couple of years, but he made me realize the importance of school, and that I only had one shot at...