When I was growing up I had a red bike with training wheels, I was so nervous to ever ride without my training wheels, even though I knew I could, they were their to keep me safe.

One day, my dad took off my training wheels. My grandfather and dad watched as I fell time and time again. I begged to have them put my training wheels back on.

Dear Patrick,

I know today you would be proud of me.

So far in my renovation of my house, with NO HELP from my family, I’ve :

Installed a pot rack,

4 fans, 3 of which had extensions,

painted living room,

textured the kitchen,

painted the kitchen,

and tonight fought a battle that normally I would have ran screaming from.

I’m not handy, I admit it. It’s the bill paying and the logic that keeps Joanna happy.

But tonight I had an issue.

The dishwasher wasn’t draining.

Now normal men would whip out their handy wrench or tool of their choice and had a go at fixing whatever issue it was.

I’m not a normal man. I’m Home Depot Impaired. Home Depot knows me by name, and it’s to their delight and joy when I come walking in;

“So what’s your problem today Sean,” they say with cash registers ringing in their minds.

In that my fiance Joanna used to work at Home Depot I don’t get taken by “the latest and greatest gadgets”.  I look at them and ewwwww and ohhhhh. “It doesn’t work, let’s move on,” she’d say as we’d go to our next adventure.

But tonight I wasn’t going to bed , even though the “Box” as I’ve come to know and love it was closed.

I had a dishwasher that wasn’t draining right and I looked at all the steps.

1. Check disposal.

2. Check Basket to make sure nothing was clogging the hose.

3. Check for bent or broken hoses.

4. Check Air Vent.

All seemed to be working.

I cleaned out the basket, lemon / ice cube freshened the disposal , all hoses looked great and I thought the air vent was cleaned enough on the outside.

I thought I had it all done right.

Try draining the dishwasher :

FAIL

After thinking about everything you’d say especially the “check the little things Sean, that’s what gets screwed up the most.”

I yelled to you that I had checked everything.

But that’s when I saw the little tab on the sides of the air vent. I popped the tabs and discovered a mineral blockage that had partly blocked the drain from fully draining.

I cleaned it out, even blowing down the small hole with a straw to discover a face full of dirty dish water.

I put everything back the way it should, and clicked the Cancel/Drain button.

And nothing made me happier than yelling at Joanna saying , “I DID IT MYSELF! YOU HEAR THAT PATRICK, I DID IT MYSELF” as the dishwasher drained!

You see, even though you are long gone and I miss you daily, I’m sure you’d understand if I take this moment to be proud cause I sure know you’d be.

Though I’m not going to drop any gas tanks to change fuel filters, or change that toilet that we never got around to without professional help, I know that this was just another little battle I won without anyone’s help.

When I walked into the bedroom to get Joanna to stop watching TV and see what I’ve done, it was not just my joy, but hers too.

She sees what I wish you could see.

Back in 1976 ,after an accident or two bumping my head, skinning my knees and hands I rode on my own. It was the most incredible experience of my life, and I rode everywhere, that is until I got my car.

I’ve taking the training wheels off in my life. Yes, things are tough. Yes, the times with the kids are not going to be as extravagant as before.

But  I’m doing it without help.

I’m moving on…

and it feels great.

I Love You and give my best to Tara and Grandpa,

Sean

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