Today marks one year since my father past away. We had a rough go the last couple years prior we stopped talking and its been a rough last year trying to sort through it all. It’s been a year of a lot of hard firsts for me and my family. The days sneak up on you and the memories come without warning. My kids ask questions I have no answers to and have a way of telling me they knew what was going on even though I tried to protect them from it. My father was raised rough, he made his own way, he did what he could with the tools he was given. I learned a lot from him he taught me how to look someone in the eye and properly shake a hand, how to swing a hammer, how to work hard, how to respect people and how to receive it, when to speak and more importantly when not to speak and just listen. He also had many many demons and he could only run for so long from them. He thought he could beat em forever, that if he could just come up a little bit things would turn but he couldn’t, and they didn’t. My father is part of this opioid nightmare. He couldn’t shake it. It was more powerful than he was or we are. He past away too young he past away without us. We couldn’t handle it any longer. It was rough but on this last day of firsts I wanna remember the good firsts. The first walleye of the season in Cass Lake. The first 4 Inch mortar salute on the Fourth of July and the first Pall Mall of the day. I miss you.