My father is not a drunken man, he just likes to drink... A lot. When I was a child, I'd bring him his beer - arms and legs pumping, a smile on my face. "Here Daddy!" I'd exclaim, setting it down and tapping the lid so the foam wouldn't spill over.
"She's a good kid," his friends would say, "but we hope she's not like you."
But the thing is, in a lot of ways - and to my mother's utter despise - I am like my father. I have his laugh, the gaps in our teeth match beautifully, and we walk with the same duck-footed arrogance.
My father is the most educated man in my family - two degrees (mathematics and engineering), although you wouldn't think so from looking at him. You see those switches? When you flip them, my father is the reason your lights turn on. He is the reason your water runs. He is the reason you're cool in summer or warm in winter - even the reason you're comfortable in that in-between that's just right. It's my father doing those jobs.
Daddy's always been the black sheep of the family because he never believed in blind submission - I guess that's where I got that from too. Rebellion seems to run in the family, and that's not always a bad thing.
I don't drink at all - severely allergic to alcohol. But even now, at 21, I bring my father his beer - arms and legs pumping - and greet him with a smile on my face. I still tap the lid so the foam won't spill over.
Recently we've started the paperwork for his living will, which has been a conversation between us for years. Death has never been more real to me than now - I'll be devastated when he's gone.
But for now, my father is a loving man who likes to drink a lot, and that's okay. I'll remember the smell of beer, tobacco, and Original Old Spice that surrounds him til my dying day - and that will be enough.