One time my friend made a stick person out of a rotten tomato from my parents’ garden. For touching his things, my dad took a bunch of tomatoes and smashed them on my bedroom door, floor and rubbed them into my rug.

Mom always says, “You should marry a man just like your dad.” Well, Mom, I’ve been trying to find one, but whoever it is has real big cowboy boots to fill.

After my mother died, when I was 14, he never missed a beat in filling the parental void in my life. He mastered cooking. He mastered laundry. He mastered scheduling. Most of all, he selflessly mastered my world.


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