It was interesting how you appeared in a recent dream: younger and with a beard. In the dream, I had asked you to take me to the start of Biking Across Kansas (or some other organized ride), but it didn't work out. Then, after a friend had given me a ride to the starting point, [...]

It was interesting how you appeared in a recent dream: younger and with a beard. In the dream, I had asked you to take me to the start of Biking Across Kansas (or some other organized ride), but it didn't work out. Then, after a friend had given me a ride to the starting point, you showed up, and I saw you a brief moment. I think I even shook your hand.
It brought to mind how you were there for me so many times, like when you drove me back to Ogallala, Nebraska, after the Nissan broke down (never to start again). You loaded the car on your trailer, and we headed toward my then home of Gillette, Wyoming, where we unloaded the clunker at a car dealership as a trade-in on another car.
You were there when Kathie and I married. You welcomed her into the family even though it was at your son Jason's funeral where you first met her. Your and the family's acceptance of Kathie (only a friend then) likely expedited the process of my asking her to marry me several months later.
You were there for our family. You worked long hours, often running a business while working at your regular job. Jason, mom, and I did not know want. You provided for our needs, and some wants as well. Further, you stayed married to mom until Jason and I were out living on our own and more or less on solid footing. The divorce took a while for me to come to terms with, but I am thankful that my brother and I didn't have to experience the difficult road of being raised by a single mom.
You were there with advice, even when, in my younger days, I didn't really want it. You shared your wisdom and experience in hopes that some of it would stick with me. Some did.
You will have been gone a year this New Year's Eve, dad. It's strange to say that. Many times over the past year, I wanted to call you"not only to fill you in on the details of my life but also to check in with how you were doing. But I can't make that call anymore.
I guess in the end, dad, all I can say is thanks for being there, and I look forward to that time when we will see each other again.