I never noticed how much my dad used the word “awesome.”
I’d been hearing it for years, of course, just one of those things you get used to when you’ve known someone for the duration of your existence. His gregarious nature, I naturally noticed, along with his enthusiasm for everything from spearheading food drives to gleefully embarking on the two-day marathon that was decorating the house for Christmas.
But it wasn’t until my now-husband pointed it out that I took note of “awesome.” And then I started hearing it constantly.
His last big trip — to England with my mom, aunt and uncle — had been awesome, of course. The mammoth Northern he caught ice fishing last winter — that was awesome, too. And many of the houses he and my mom checked out, looking for their new home? You guessed it. Awesome.
But for Dad, a.k.a. Big Steve, even the little things were awesome — a really good meal, that morning’s bike ride, the delicious State Fair footlong … He saw — and more important, truly appreciated — awesomeness wherever it could be found.
My awesome dad, Steve McBride, passed away Oct. 22 after a 10-month battle with metastatic lung cancer. And while we’re all familiar with the old axiom about living each day like it’s your last, Dad truly embodied the phrase long before his diagnosis. He saw the awesome in everyday life, picked us up when we couldn’t, and showed us that love, family and friendship are the most awesome gifts of all.
And he taught us that even when life ceases … awesomeness endures.