My Dad is a Wookie!

Chewie being chill
It’s not a secret that I am a big fan of Star Wars. I have numerous shirts, have played several games over the years, seen all the movies more times than I can count, read as many of the books as I can, and will talk about it with anyone who will listen.

Recently I had a conversation with a friend who told me how he felt like he had learned a lot of lessons on morality from a show called Kung Fu that he watched when he was a kid. This made me think and I feel like aside from my Christian upbringing I learned a lot of moral lessons from Star Wars. I learned things like never give up in the face of insurmountable odds, that someone who seems like a nobody has the potential to change everything, I learned about loyalty to one’s friends no matter what, I saw that sometimes we make mistakes, but it’s never too late to turn around and do the right thing, and that even the worst people given the chance can be redeemed.

My first memory of Star Wars was watching an ABC special showing of Return of the Jedi with my Dad and I remember being so fascinated by this magical world that I ended up watching the other movies on the USA network and taping them so I could watch them again and again.

I know this comes on the heels of a Han Solo film coming out, but when I was a kid, I wanted to be Han Solo. He was a confident dude who seemed like he had gone on several adventures and he always had his best friend Chewbacca at his side. I’ve read several books featuring Han and Chewie and there is always a theme of Chewie having Han’s back, even though sometimes he thought Han was being an idiot. Then eventually Han married Leia and had a family. Chewbacca’s friendship with Han lead him to be like an uncle to Han’s kids and you always knew Chewie had their backs too.

My Dad and I before surgery

Anyway, growing up when I would dream about being Han, I always felt like my Dad was Chewbacca. Part of it was because he had a beard and was much taller than me, but the other part of it was because my Dad always did his best to support me, as well as my mom and other siblings. I always looked up to my Dad and knew that like Chewbacca he would never let anything happen to me or our family. I used to daydream about us going on space adventures in the Millennium Falcon and meeting aliens, getting in trouble, but always doing the right thing. Thinking about it, Chewbacca probably had things he wanted to do sometimes, but whenever Han and his family went on an adventure Chewie went along to protect everyone.

My Dad and I before seeing The Last Jedi
I know this is getting kind of long and maybe it doesn’t make sense to anyone but me, but I felt it was something I had to get down. My Dad has been the greatest man I’ve ever known, and I’ve always looked at him as a role model and someone I wanted to emulate. He’s loyal not just to our family, but to his friends as well. Over the years I feel certain he’s given up countless things to provide and protect our family and like Chewbacca, he’s one of the most selfless people I’ve ever known. At the time of writing this, I’ve just turned 35 and I go to him for advice and do my best to be like him. I consider him to be one of my closest friends like Chewbacca was to Han. He’s always supported me, even though I’m certain he thought I was going off on a wild “adventure” that was seemed stupid, but he knew that in letting me “go” that was the only way I would learn.

My Dad, Kathleen, and I a long time ago
in a galaxy far away (Lufkin).
So that’s how I feel about my Dad, I think he’s the greatest man who ever lived and I strive to be like him every day. I think some of my best qualities come from him, such as my sense of humor and my desire to help others, as well as some of the qualities I've grown into, such as trying more to empathize with others and try to always be positive. I feel immensely blessed that he and my Mom chose me out of all the other children they could have chosen to adopt. I hope that even though I'm not necessarily a "normal person", some may call me eccentric, to say the least, something he's always taught me it's okay to be, that he’s proud of me and realizes how much I respect and love him and try to emulate him in everything I do. And one day, God help us all, if I have children, I hope i have the strength to be the same kind of role model he has been to me. Although, sadly I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to grow a beard like he used to have, but we all can’t be perfect. 

My Dad and his grandchildren