My father has always been one of my biggest supporters. I think back to my childhood, to our family vacations, and what I remember most is that he always made sure we found a used bookstore for me to browse. Back before e-books, back before the internet, he was the one who fed my tattered paperback habit. I don't ever remember him rushing me through a store or questioning whether I really needed another book.
Similarly, when I began writing, he was the one who would make a point of asking how it was going and what I was working on. He's never been a reader himself, so he's never pretended to an interest in the words themselves, but he's always looked after my efforts and celebrated my successes. For that reason, I've always had it in the back of my mind that my first novel would be, at least in some way, dedicated to him.
While my father still with us - and hopefully will be for years to come - his recent health issues have made me think about my wasted years. If I can't get a handle on my priorities, stop my procrastinating, and get over my fear that a manuscript isn't perfect enough to share, then that dedication will never see the light of day, much less hit print while he's still around to appreciate it.
I haven't been all that successful in getting my ass in gear, but maybe I just haven't been doing it for the right reasons . . . or the right person.