Once upon a time I had a really great dad. His name was Charles (and my mom's name is Diana) but everyone called him Chuck. He grew up mostly in Houston and went to Lehigh and became a chemical engineer just like his dad. He dated my mom all through college and married her and then went to work for Gulf Oil, which became Chevron, and then became Sunoco. He was faithful to his employer, faithful to his wife, and faithful to his kids. He didn't go to church until about 1983 or so when he decided to study the Bible and came to the conclusion that it was right and he needed to be saved by JC. Then he became faithful to God and whatever church he attended. He was the essence of dependability, but sometimes slow, methodical, and meticulous. He was extremely laid back and rarely got excited or angry. Some would call that boring, but I thought it was good. I hardly ever really talked to him until I decided to become a chemical engineer like him. Then he took me to see all the best universities and tried to impart much wisdom to me. He nearly screwed up my MIT admissions interview because deep down he thought I was more cut out to be a teacher than an engineer. He asked me what I wanted in life and I told him that really I wanted to get married and have kids, but a girl can't guarantee that so she has to do her best to be independent and provide for herself. I think he really liked that. He loved sports fanatically, and was thrilled when I went to Penn State where he could become an instant football fan. (My private high school had no football, much to his shagrin.) He was so proud of me it oozed from his pores and I loved him for it. Then I met a guy who was pretty much just like him, and I had to marry him. My dad gave him some speech about not wanting to give up his little girl, but the Bible says he has to. Then in the back of the limo on the way to the church with my dad he said "I want you to know, even though we've shelled out lots of money for this day, I'll turn this limo around right now if you don't want to get married." It was the sweetest thing I think he'd ever said to me. God called him home suddenly six months after he walked me down the aisle, right before Christmas. It hurt, but I dealt with it much as he would have, very stoically. Because I am just like him in so many ways. It's too bad that he didn't get to meet his grandchildren, but hopefully someday he will.