For as long as I can remember, I have called my dad by the nickname of “Paw.” I don’t quite know how it got started, but it’s a variation of “Pa” and we just exaggerated it when we said it, and just ended up spelling it the way it sounds. Strange? Yes, but it’s funny. My dad also has a nickname for me – “Rocky.” This is because in junior high, I would come downstairs from my shower wearing a long terrycloth robe and for some reason my dad thought I looked like a boxer. The funny thing about these nicknames is that we use them in e-mails and in birthday cards. When my parents send me a b-day card, it always starts off “Dear Tracy/Rocky” and it’s always signed, “Love Mom and Paw.” It makes me smile.

So, I’ve once again been tackling the boxes that still live in our basement, and I came across this short letter from my dad (dated 8/17/03):

Rocky,

I figured you could use a little help with the Kinko’s expenses for the thesis. Good luck with concluding that “chapter” of your life’s battles, and good luck if/when you decide to seek the next degree!

Love and support,
Paw

P.S. You’re a fine person and daughter and I’m proud of you.

I had been finishing my master’s thesis and he sent me some cash to make all of the copies to send to my committee. I could have done without the money, but I’m so glad he wrote me this note.

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