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Remembering Dad and Embracing the Present

Father's Day has always been a day of reflection and gratitude for me. Today, as I think about my father, Stanley Lee, I find myself immersed in memories that bring both smiles and tears. It’s been seven years since we lost him to glioblastoma, and not a day goes by that I don’t feel the void his absence has left. Cancer is a horrible beast that took him too soon, but the love he shared with us continues to illuminate my life.

My father was a man of many talents and quirks. He loved my late mother, Sheila Lee, with a passion that was both profound and inspiring.

Their love was a beacon, a testament to the kind of relationship I aspire to have with my own wife, Lauren.

One of my fondest memories of Dad is watching him tackle the most technical and silly things with equal enthusiasm. Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, he owned a zero-turn riding lawnmower for our less-than-half-city-acre lawn. It seemed comically excessive, but it was pure Dad – always taking joy in the little things and ensuring everything was just right. And then there were the car washes. He would meticulously inspect every scratch or mark on his car, turning a simple chore into an almost ceremonial event.

Our road trips were legendary. Whether it was a quick weekend getaway or a long journey to visit distant family, Dad made every trip an adventure. He had a way of turning the mundane into something magical, teaching me to see the world through a lens of wonder and excitement.

Today, as I look at my life, I see how deeply his influence runs. I am now on my own journey as a father and husband, blessed with Lauren and our two wonderful children, Vivian and Grayson. Each day, I strive to be the kind of father that my dad was to me. I find myself smiling at the smallest things, cherishing every moment with my kids, and always thinking of him.

Being a dad has its challenges, but it also has immeasurable rewards. Watching Vivian’s curiosity and Grayson’s boundless energy, I am reminded of my own childhood and the lessons my father imparted to me. His legacy lives on in the love and laughter that fills our home.

Dad, I want you to know that every smile, every laugh, and every cherished moment with my children is a tribute to you. I thank you for the foundation you laid, for the love you shared, and for the memories that continue to guide me.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

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