SIDELINE OBSERVATIONS: Dad made all the difference

Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 05:16 PM.

My dad, Jim Dickson, passed away early July 30 at age 80. Dad fought a four-year battle with a disease called Multiple Systems Atrophy and, in the end, the disease and old age caught up with him.

I’m now trying to write a column that can sum up the love and everything else Dad and I shared throughout the many years.

The fact is I can't write a column that will do our relationship justice. It's impossible to put into words a bond we often had trouble describing ourselves. But I'll give it a try.

In the movie "The Natural" there's a scene where Roy Hobbs and Iris Gaines talk about their teenage son, who Hobbs knows nothing about.

Gaines says, "My boy is getting to that age where he needs his father." Hobbs replies, "Sure — a father makes all the difference."

Dad made all the difference in my life; he taught me how to throw a baseball, swing a baseball bat, play basketball and ride a bicycle. He would wait in the deep water when I went off the high dive — not trusting just any lifeguard to come to my rescue if something were to happen to me.

I always felt secure knowing Dad was waiting in the water below. I was never afraid to get in over my head because I trusted that he was strong enough to keep me from harm.

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