It’s Thanksgiving.

My first without my dad.

So, in honor of him, I made a list of the top 10 things I’m thankful that I learned from him. And here they are:

10. To do for others. My dad was always very generous with his time and wanted to help his family.

9. To tuck in my kids. He always tucked me in at night when I was younger, and the boys love that I tuck them in the same way. Pushing the covers around their legs and saying “tuck, tuck, tuck.”

8. To not take yourself too seriously. He was a very funny person, and I learned that it’s ok to laugh at yourself. Life is more fun that way.

7. To be proud of who you are. My dad, and mom, taught all of their kids to be confident.

6. To give your best effort. And if that still doesn’t work, you know you tried your hardest.

5. To be together. There were times I didn’t understand this one as I grew up, but now I know how important it is. I hope my kids will know one day, too.

4. To hug and kiss when you leave. Greg says our goodbyes need “pre-goodbyes.” It takes awhile.

3. To be there. Dad answered the phone nearly every time I called, and showed up at every family event, or kids’ activity. He didn’t miss.

2. To create traditions. That’s what my dad was all about. He fostered a feeling of togetherness among all of us, and we now pass it on to our own.

1. Finally, to love your family. It’s your backbone in life, and will get you through the bad times, and help you celebrate the good. It’s who you lean on.

I miss you, Dad. And I’m thankful you were my father.