We take a moment right now in remembrance of one of our team member's father who recently passed away earlier this week. He was fighting against cancer for the past couple years with such bravery, strength, and unfailing joy in his heart. Even though he was weak from the pain, he would never stop thinking for his family before himself and even our team. We commemorate his selfless love that was such a firm foundation for his family and those who knew him.

This is a poem that our team member, his son, wrote a year ago as a potential side project we were thinking of. We never got around to finish it, but we wish to tribute this as a way to honor his father in this difficult time for his family. 

To my father, whom I love


I am where I am because of you.
In the days of your youth,
The world was a different place.
The roads dustier; the dinner table emptier;
Shoes were always worn till bare sole scraped the ground.

But you had big dreams.
The days to come could always be painted a little brighter, a little warmer.
Like a kite,
The sky was the limit.
You worked hard,
Tattered books read over dim candlelight.
College was an unimaginable dream,
But you did it.

You were a great artist.
You were a great singer.
You were a great writer.

Many were the roads to pursue,
Many were the dreams to dream.

You met mom.
Fireworks lighted the night sky and love filled your empty stomach.
She walked down the aisle, a band around her finger, a promise around her heart

And as “I do” rolled off your tongue,
Suddenly, you were—a “husband”
You were—“the man of the house”

And promises of paved roads and fuller tables,
Real Nikes with cushioned soles,
Brought you and mom to the “land of opportunities”
With your college degree,
Your first opportunity was pumping gas at a gas station.

But you had big dreams.
The days to come could always be painted a little brighter, a little warmer.
Like a kite,
The sky was the limit.
You worked hard,
ABCs and “How are you?s” recited deep into the nights.
You realized that there were certain doors that just couldn’t be opened,
Because of the way your “f” sounded like “p”
But you knocked and found ones that did.

You did it.

Surely, after this door, others could be opened.
The sky was the limit.

But, when mom laid in the hospital bed,
Holding me in her arms,
Everything changed—

You were a father.

As you held me,
I was the kite.
You were grounded.
You walked through that door
and for the past 24 years,
You have walked through that same exact door
Into—“Fatherhood” with a smile.

I have experienced the world,
Because of every morning you walked into that office.
I have experienced places and things you could only see on a screen,
Because of every hour spent behind that screen.

Because of your folded dreams,
I have had the privilege to see mine unfold.
I have had the opportunity to dream dreams.
I couldn’t see
The cuts and burns in your hand,
From navigating through the storms,
My head was in the clouds,
As you held on tightly from beneath.

Every smile, lifting me a little higher,
Above the storm clouds, above the thunder and the rain,
Your voice calling out,
“Son, how does it look over there?”
“It’s amazing! How are you?”
The answer was always the same:
“I’m good!”

Even when rain mixed with tears mixed with sweat mixed with blood,
“I’m good!”
Through the sleepless nights, walking the tightrope between bills to be paid and food on the table,
The aches in your shoulders, your back, your legs…
Worry knocking on the bruises of your heart…
“I’m good!”

You wove your dreams
Into the thread that held me in the sky
When the storms of life shook the ground beneath you—
Gritted teeth and a resilient whisper in your heart,
“To my last breath”—
You were the wind beneath me.

Then one day,
You collapsed. Literally.
Your legs gave out, your arms went limp.
The taut string that grounded me to the sky went loose,
A rush of fear, regret, confusion, anger,
All mixed together into a nasty concoction that choked my heart
The kite spiraled to the ground…

“Dad…? What happened?”
I had never seen you so weak, so helpless,
Tubes running through you,
Propped up by saggy hospital cushions,
You were barely able to hold my hand.

Just above a whisper,
“Son, good to see you .”
“It’s okay, I will get better.”
And then you smiled,
But this time, it hurt.
“I’m good.”
The last two words a dagger to the heart.
Is this what you meant by “I’m good”?

As you learned to walk again,
I found myself in a strange place.
Walking through the same doors you had been,
Sitting behind the same desk,
The ever growing stack of bills to be paid,
Just one more and it would come crashing down into my empty pockets.
My feet slowly molded into your work slippers
But my heart wouldn’t fit.

The captain’s helm was a daunting place to be.
As waves threatened to crash through the planks,
And winds ripped through the sails,
In the darkest of nights that ate up all the stars,
Frustrated tears, full of fear, fell into emptiness,
“How did you do it all these years, Dad?”

When you smiled and said “I’m good,”
It was not a lie.
But every time I said, “I’m good,”
I learned to hold a smile so you wouldn’t catch the lie.
But you could always tell.

The worst part is,
There were days I was so tired
I didn’t even try.
I couldn’t even last a month, Dad.

As I took your keys and went to work,
I closed the door, closed my eyes to
Tears drawn from the well of your heart.
“I’m sorry, Son.”
“Thank you.”

Don’t say sorry. Don’t ever say sorry.

I always liked rain, the way it gently tapped on the windows
The rolling thunder that rumbled the window frames,
But the moment the walls gave away
And the roof crashed in on me
Rain like bullets pelted down on bare skin
And the deafening thunder was all I heard


But when a white flag went over my head,
Love took my hand,
Wrapped the thread that held me to the sky around my fist
And punched the darkness so hard in the mouth that it spit out all the stars.

And in that moment,
I could see.
All these years, the cuts and burns in your hands,
They were not simply to keep me afloat.

You were teaching me to waltz with the wind,
The higher I went, the stronger the winds roared,
But we danced. WE danced.
And, as this truth settled into my heart, like an anchor to the sea,
Like muscle memory, my heart pirouetted in the storm.
And I swear I heard your gentle chuckles in the thunder.

You brushed joy over us,
Sang away fears,
And etched truth into our hearts,
“You are loved.”

You are a great lover.

And I thank you for that,
For weaving love into the thread that held me to the sky.