Someone I have always been really grateful for having in my life was my father. We didn’t always see eye-to-eye; we had our share of differences. Parent-child relationships are always at least a little bit complicated. But I was lucky in that I had a relationship with my father; and I was lucky in the kind of father he was. He worked a lot, usually two jobs, and at times three, to make sure we had food and a roof over our heads.

Sophie Kominski Formanek Carl George and Patricial Lee Formanek
My father Carl, my mother Patricia, and my father’s mother, Sophie, 1971-1972

He didn’t have the kinds of jobs most people consider high status or heroic; he was never a soldier, a police officer or firefighter. He was drafted for Vietnam but sent home due to a medical condition he didn’t know he had and one that would eventually end his life at the young age of only 53. He had a high school diploma, no college. His jobs were not high skill save for the last, he was a water treatment plant operator. He liked it.

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My father Carl, me, and my fiance Phil, 1994.

He was a decent person; he was polite to everyone, looked down on no one, would help anyone who needed it, was respectful and respectable, and always fair. He raised four kids to be that way and did a pretty good job of it all things considered; despite deteriorating health and three divorces. He was kind, and funny, stubborn and opinionated, determined, and proud. He was a good father and he loved us kids.

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My Dad’s world; my brother David, me, my brother Chris, and my sister Tanya.

I’ll always be grateful for how much he always made time for all of us.