The Gay Vegans

In loving memory…

…of my dad.

It’s been over two weeks since my dad passed away. To me and others it was sudden, even though we knew he had a major health issue.

My dad: second generation Irish immigrant, Detroit born, US Marine, father of four, super serious and super loving, businessman, honorable, super witty, super smart, ethical and most of all, a human being living a hard-core human experience.

My world is not the same. I don’t feel the same. I’ve been home for over a week now and feel very uncomfortable with this new normal. My dad didn’t even live here, nonetheless I feel his loss immensely. Some times the grief and sadness hit me so hard that it’s difficult to even take a breath.

My dad, Jack, was one of my close friends. We spoke often and recently were reading books and discussing them. The one we were currently reading is “Black Detroit” by Herb Boyd. What a great read.

I spent many times in my hammock chatting away with my dad about how beautiful it is here in southern California and listening to him talk about being in San Diego with the Marines and spending a New Year’s Eve in Los Angeles in the late 50’s. He disliked cold and snow, common in his Michigan, and loved hearing all about our adventures with beach, surf and sun.

My dad was such an important part of my world. He loved his family and made sure that I knew he loved me and was proud of me. Mike and I were stoked to have spent some time with him in July, even making it to a delish vegan meal at Green Space Cafe in Ferndale, just outside of Detroit. That day included a trip to the Detroit neighborhood where he grew up.

As much as I knew my dad, I learned so much at his viewing and his funeral. So much love for him, for this man I called dad. People he had worked with before retiring 16 years ago shared stories of working with him and about how much he impacted their lives alongside high school friends who talked of fun and mischief. Listening to all of these stories was wonderful.

We had rough roads, disagreements and opportunities to grow and forgive. All of these added to my love for him.

Nothing I write can do my dad justice. He taught me that what happens to you does not have to make you, that family matters, and that the person we are today does not have to be the person we are tomorrow.

My dad made me better.

I miss him.

Thank you for reading.

About Dan Hanley

Gay and vegan in the burbs (of Los Angeles). I blog about veganism, equality, compassion, activism, politics, spirituality, and our awesome life experiences. The "s" includes my husband, Mike! I want this blog to be a tool to build bridges among communities and to inspire people to get involved and vote.