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    Posted June 18, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    What makes your Father's Day special?

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    To My Dad

    I received 3 really good pieces of advice from my late father, Kenneth W. Kiel:

    1. Keep your legs crossed (His watered-down version of the “Birds and the Bees” talk with me at age 17).

    2. In any job, don't do it so well that you can't be replaced.

    3. Listen to your mom.

    That's it. My dad was a simple, country man from Louisiana-- one who was fond of cutting grass, barbecuing on the weekends, rushing home to eat a home-cooked meal and watch football after church on Sunday and obliging to my every whim when I wanted some Mary Jane candies or a bubble gum snow-cone.

    He loved to brag about my Penn State degree but wouldn't step foot on a plane to come visit. He showed off pictures of family vacations at Disney World but took days off from work kicking and screaming. On long-distance phone calls, we mostly talked about college football, politics or cars and our favorite past-time was watching football while on the phone and shouting at the defensive coordinator! :)

    My dad was a walking oxymoron. He was a simple man with simple thoughts but all in all, I feel like he had a very good heart. I won't pretend to understand why God chooses to call some of us home sooner than others-- even through my reading of the scripture, I don't quite get it. But I do trust God's ultimate timing and I know that His plan is best for our lives.

    He wasn't perfect. But he was my father and he was present in my life. When I lost him at 24, I don't think I realized how blessed I was but now as I look back some years later, I thank God for the time that I had with him-- through the good and bad, I say 'I miss you dad.'

    Happy Fathers Day, Dad.

    In Loving Memory of Kenneth W. Kiel
    (May 21, 1951 - October 24, 2004)
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