Three years ago today, my dad died. He died the same day as his mother, who had passed away 15 years earlier. It is also the same day two of my dearest, closest friends were born. Both of whom came into this world in the same town, in the same hospital and likely stayed only rooms apart during their first few days of life. One would become my best friend the minute she was born. The other, nearly 24 years later. This day holds magic for me that I cannot, nor would I attempt, to explain. The day my dad died, I cried at the overwhelming comfort this coincidence gifted me. Because it was everything this life is, bountiful of beauty and pain and so much love. I miss him. I will forever miss him. Some days, I still cannot believe he is gone. So this I will leave here. A small piece of his story. Just a reminder of my dad. Joseph A. Markovich July 11, 1942 — August 8, 2014 What we, his family, would want you to know is that he was a phenomenal man. He was a "character" as some have said; a man who never failed to make you smile. He was loyal in every sense of the word and cherished every friend he had ever made. He was creative, smart and an artist at heart. He was one helluva cook; known for his homemade pizzas and famous gin and tonics. He told great jokes, but also terrible ones that only made him laugh. His favorite vehicle was his tractor and his most legendary scare tacit was having his shotgun next to him when his daughters decided to introduce their boyfriends. His four sons-in-laws love him and that, in and of itself, speaks volumes. Joe was a fighter who dealt with his heart condition of 18 years with strength, grace and humor. If ever there was a moment he was scared, he wasn't afraid to show it, because he was genuine in every sense of the word and lived life authentically. Our dad marveled in the simplicity of life, believed mountains were miraculous and that nature was heaven. He taught us that life is beautiful and that we're nothing without each other. Though we are ridiculously biased, we simply think he was the best and believe no one will ever take his place. For all of that and more, we will miss him tremendously.