Father’s Day is this weekend and there are three special dads in my life that I will be celebrating. My dad, my husband, and my father-in-law. Since we’re all about gratitude here at WeGush, I figure it’s only appropriate that I honor things about them that fill me with gratitude.

MY DAD - Jack Kavanagh: headed out for another emergency out of state - my girls woke up early to say goodbye

MY DAD – Jack Kavanagh: headed out for another emergency out of state – my girls woke up early to say goodbye

Three things about my dad that fill me with gratitude:

1. He made sure that I knew how to change a tire, use tools, and climb a ladder up to the roof to clean out the gutters. There was no girl stuff vs. boy stuff – just life skills.

2. Every day that he drove my carpool to school, he would say tap my leg three times before I got out of the car. It was his way of saying “I love you” while not “embarrassing” me in front of my friends. Instead, the words that came out his mouth were “Give’ em hell, kid.”

3. At 78 years old, he volunteers for the American Red Cross in big ways. He is on call for fires throughout Massachusetts every Wednesday night, mans the first aid tents at public events, and has been all over the country feeding and sheltering victims and volunteers. After the tragedy at the Boston Marathon, he was in Watertown feeding police during the manhunt. After Hurricane Sandy, he lived in New York for weeks running shelters. He can by found at 3am in 3 degree weather on a bus getting coffee for firefighters fighting a blaze. He drove an Emergency Response Vehicle around Western Massachusetts after the tornadoes. He took care of people after the floods in Missouri in 2013 and the ones in Texas last week. I am grateful for his spirit, his caring, and his example.

MY HUSBAND - Justin Berke:  on the day he became a dad for the 2nd time

MY HUSBAND – Justin Berke: on the day he became a dad for the 2nd time

Three things about my husband that fill me with gratitude:

1. He makes me laugh. Every. Single. Day.
2. He cooks. He cleans. He does both really, really well. Sometimes he does them both at the same time. He can magically clean out the refrigerator of stuff that you can’t imagine would ever go together and creates a gourmet taste sensation.

3. He is a fantastic dad. He is much more patient with my girls than I am (isn’t that always the way with dads and daughters?). He has mastered the fine balance of being their parent and friend, disciplinarian and playmate, teacher and student. Nothing makes me happier than the sound of conversations between Justin and his girls.

MY FATHER-IN-LAW- Thomas Berke: With a CRAZY hairdo with my husband as a kid

MY FATHER-IN-LAW- Thomas Berke: With a CRAZY hairdo with my husband as a kid

Three things about my father-in-law that fill me with gratitude:

1. He modeled for my husband that men can cook and clean. And especially sweep. Tommy is a championship sweeper. He may want to look into taking up curling as a sport.
2. He’s game for most things. Need someone to walk or drive anywhere for any length of time with you – he’s your man.

3. He’s a teacher. He teaches chemistry. It’s a subject that doesn’t change much, so I guess he could rest on his laurels if he wanted to, but instead he is passionate about improving his courses, curriculum and college so that students get the most that they can out of their education. A huge number of his students are nursing students – nurses who understand chemistry is something we can all be grateful for!