30 People Describe What Made Them Realise Their Dad Was “Epic”

Published 3 weeks ago

Today we take a moment to appreciate all the amazing fathers out there. Dad’s whose actions have seriously impressed their children on an epic level.

These eye-watering stories came out when netizens responded to Redditor AquaPressure’s online post. They asked everyone to share “the most epic” thing their dad ever did and a host of tales of heroic actions spilled out which we’ve shared in the gallery below. 

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#1 After my parents divorced my dad was on a super lean budget. He planned a weekend getaway for just he and I to the Oregon Coast to watch a kite flying festival. Pretty cheap but safe accommodations and decent food.

Image source: NeedleworkerSuch9714, Xan

Well we go to a bookstore (I was a rabid reader at that point.) I’m browsing around mostly just looking at new releases. I found a book of John Keats complete works and just had to have it so I took it over to him and asked for it. He took the book and said “hmmm let’s see what its about” and turned to the back. What I didn’t realize until I got much older was that he was checking the price. He said yep this looks good. That night he took me to a local pizza place for a slice and a soda. He only drank a soda and said he had a bit of a tummy ache. That man sacrificed a dinner so I could have a book. I still get onion eyes to this day even writing this.

#2 My dad got up every morning, worked hard his entire life, loved my mother, loved and spent time with his 6 kids. You could tell he enjoyed being with you. So no big story here, just a good man extending much effort to provide stability and love for his family. As simple as this is, it is what I believe to be the highest form of living possible. I try to be the same.

Image source: Open-Industry-8396

#3 When I was 10 he was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer and was told he had 2 months to live at best. He told the doctors no and battled for 9.5 years before passing in 2014.

Image source: thatoneguy2252, Ketut Subiyanto

During that time he always worked hard and made time to help people while still giving me and my 4 siblings as normal a life as he could. Especially my youngest siblings who were twins that were a little under 2 years old. He got to give them some more time and not just a man in a picture as a memory. There’s not a single person who I’ve come to respect half as much as my father. Nothing is more bad*ss to me than a person going through some awful s**t, but they still somehow power through and persist on. Trying to take notes as I go through my own, more minor, leukemia diagnosis. Couldn’t have asked for a better role model.

#4 Had his hat blow off on a windy day in a crowd in Chicago. Stuck his hand in the air, caught another random hat blowing by, wore it instead.

Image source: Smokey_Katt, Mathias Reding

#5 Driving home from the cottage once. There was a doe on the side if the road, just chilling. Didn’t even move as we got closer.

Image source: erayachi, Aaron J Hill

Dad slowed the car to a halt, rolled down the window, leans out and asks the *goddamn deer* for directions to the highway. She just slowly backed away and vanished into the trees.

I’m dying in the passenger seat as we drive away.

#6 My family was sledding down this big hill, at the end was a cliff into a parking lot so we would all stand there to make sure no one fell off the edge. My younger sister went through my moms legs and was about to fly off the cliff when my dad ran faster than humanly possible and dove and caught my sisters sled and stopped it inches from the cliff. We all called him Superman the rest of the trip.

Image source: Wonka824, PNW Production

#7 Took responsibility for his actions, went to therapy, found a support group, became better.

Image source: astoneworthskipping

#8 He was a teacher and well liked by pretty much everyone. One summer, neighborhood kids invited him out to a place they were going in the country to test out model rockets they were building. Long story short, it went really, really wrong. A rocket came back at them, he shoved everyone out of the way, and took the rocket to the leg where it exploded, destroying his leg.

Image source: fienen, RDNE Stock project

Being in the middle of nowhere, it was 20 minutes before an ambulance could get to him. He is a former firefighter and EMT, so to stay alive until they could get to him, he reached inside what was left of his leg and pinched off the femoral artery and held it until help got there.

They life-lifted him from the hospital to a major trauma center a couple hours away where he underwent surgery to amputate everything. The next morning he woke up and the nurses asked if he needed anything. He asked if they could bring him a long chunk of wood and some carving tools so he could get started on his new leg.

A month and a half later he was back in his classroom teaching to start the school year.

#9 Once wore a Batman costume to a job interview because it was Halloween. He got the job.

Image source: Formal_Assistant_884, Jon Tyson

#10 My Dad set the record at our local transplant center for people volunteering to be tested to see if they were a match to donate him a kidney. If that doesn’t indicate a life well lived, I don’t know what does. My Mom’s sister ended up being a great match and the transplanted kidney has been going strong for 20 years!

Image source: ILikeYourHotdog, Anna Shvets

#11 My dad and his brothers beat the ever loving s**t out of their sister’s (my aunt) abusive husband after she showed up to family dinner with a swollen shut black eye.

Image source: Skinnee11

#12 My dad graduated from university when he was 21. They told him if he got his teaching certificate he could come back and teach. He did and a year later became an assistant professor. He stayed working there his entire career, moving on to tenured professor then Acedemic Dean and finally President. He got his Phd along the way as well. At his retirement party 1000 people showed up.

Image source: discostud1515, Yan Krukau

#13 The thing that stands out to me, more than anything that I saw my father do?

Image source: Rounder057, Pavel Danilyuk

My little brother had passed away. There were complications during his surgery, he didn’t die on the table but they realized he wasn’t going to make it. So they stabilized him, put him on a machine and gave the family an opportunity to make the necessary calls for people that wanted to say goodbye to him.

The next day, after everyone was able to come out and see him and say goodbye, we turned the machines off. The day after that, we were up at the hospital for some reason, which I can’t remember because a lot of things were very blurry at the time. Anyhow, I went with my dad as he went around to every single person that was in the room and literally had their hands in my brother to try and save his life. He shook each one of those people’s hands, thanked them for trying and did his best to emotionally absolve them of the guilt they might have felt. He was gracious, classy and kind. He, who just lost his youngest son at the age of 19, took the time to thank them for trying.

It. Was. F*****g. Epic.

#14 When I was 13 I was having a hard time with puberty and felt very insecure. I cried a lot and felt ugly all the time. Sometimes I was bullied.

My parents were divorced, and dad worked at VW, testing cars which were not yet known, let alone be for sale. He was a handsome, tall guy with the most beautiful voice.

One day in school, when I was feeling especially down, he picked me up, parked a brand new white Golf cabrio (yet unknown for public) with open roof right in front of all the “cool” kids including my crush, and waited for me to come out, rocking his long curly hair and sunglasses.

I swear ALL the kids were drooling, asking each other whose car that was. I shyly walked to the car and sat down right next to him, he greeted me and handed me a small package. Everything seemed in slow motion while I was opening my gifts; two pairs of the most beautiful earrings and a necklace.
Then off we flew in the white convertible, boosting 90’s hits.

Everyone was staring. I felt like a rockstar.

Miss you SO much, dad.

Image source: Anninu

#15 Jumped into a freezing river with heavy currents to save my 4 pound childhood dog.

Image source: Ok-Bullfrog5830, Olavi Anttila

#16 Let all of us finish college even he works only on a minimum wage, he always finds ways to pay for our school so we can have a good future. That was more than epic to me.

Image source: shihoshodogirl, Tima Miroshnichenko

#17 My dad doesn’t know that I know this. My mum was trying to help me find my birth certificate when I was younger and lived at home. We checked in my dad’s drawer for it because that was were it was always kept. We found a letter from the local head of police thanking him for catching a theif as they were running from a shop, he had restrained them until police arrived… HE HAS STILL NEVER TOLD US ABOUT IT!!

Image source: DLY2103, Kindel Media

#18 When we were young kids, my dad convinced us we were going shopping to buy coats. Naturally we threw a fit and had no interest in going shopping. He dragged us there… as we were walking into the “store” I remember thinking that it seemed like a really big store for coats. We walked in and it was a monster truck show… a freakin monster truck show! I was super young but thats by far one of the most vivid childhood memories I have. Even at 40 I remember it like it was yesterday.

Image source: kankelberri

#19 OK, it was a long time ago, because I’m 60 now.

Image source: Wadsworth_McStumpy, DIALO Photography

In high school, my dad played football. In those days, it wasn’t uncommon at an away game for the team to go out to eat and have the restaurant refuse to seat the two black guys on the team. My dad (and the whole team) would then simply walk out. I’m sure it didn’t change many minds, but that was his own small contribution to the civil rights struggle, and I’m proud of him for it.

#20 I was estranged from my dad for 25 years, after my mother abducted me to Australia.

Image source: diamondjo, Tatiana Syrikova

I made a real effort to track him down after my wife got pregnant with our first child to let him know he was going to be a grandfather. Fast forward three years and we’re finally reunited. Our first son was very clingy to mum and didn’t like strangers, and would instantly shirk any kind of attention from anyone except immediate family. On our first day out, we’re standing in the carpark and my dad tells us he’s going to take us to a nice little cafe for lunch, and then he says “Alright, come on little guy” reaches out and takes my son’s hand, and he just goes with him. The two of them walk off together hand in hand, and my dad is talking happily with his first ever grandson. My wife and I let them go off ahead a little bit and followed behind.

My father died the following year, and this was to be the first and last time I saw him in 25 years, and the first and last time my son would meet his grandad. My son knew his own. And my dad did it with such confidence and safety that he didn’t get a chance to feel anxious about leaving mum’s side.

Thankfully I have a photo of that moment. It’s a precious memory.

#21 In elementary school, my siblings and I were maybe 1 of 10 Asian families. For breakfast I would eat anything from Korean and American foods. I once had a stew my mom made and went to school. My old, white, racist teacher came up straight to my 8year old face and told me I smelled ethnic and needed a shower. I went home and told my dad. He was so mad, I thought his head was going to blow up. At the time, he had a Korean secretary whose husband was a Polish American WWII vet. My dad took him (who was also very mad) to my teacher and principal. We called him grandpa. Well grandpa told the teacher and principal that I was his granddaughter. And if the school had issues with my ethnicity that he would sue and expose them to racism and let everyone in the neighborhood know that my school is not the place to be. That he didn’t fight the Nazis to come back home to fight the same bs. Anyway they left me alone after that. My dad was the best for defending me and coming up with the idea. And my “grandpa” for pretending and defending a complete stranger. I loved him like a real grandpa.

Image source: curryp4n

#22 For Christmas in 1986 me and my sisters really wanted a Nintendo Entertainment System from Santa.  My father told us that if we teamed up and cleaned the basement he would put in a good word for us with Santa.  So we worked our asses off to make that basement spotless.

On Christmas morning we snuck downstairs and didn’t see any boxes big enough to be an NES, so we all kind of hung our heads a little.  When it was time to open presents we started with the biggest packages first, which were all clothes.  There was one final package that seemed big enough, but it was a pillow or something.

When all the presents were opened our father could see how disappointed we were and said “What’s that coming from the basement?”.  We immediately perked up and ran down to be basement to the sound of the iconic Mario Brothers theme.

This is the most epic thing my father ever did.  Love ya Pops.

Image source: TheHibernian

#23 My dad has done a host of epic things in his life, and some of them are in the history books, but the most significant to me is the deliberate work he put into being a loving and present father, despite the logistical challenges presented by his lengthy and distinguished naval career. Despite frequent deployments during the first 17 years of my life, my dad made sure that we stayed connected and that I could always reach out to him. After retiring from the Navy, he taught us about reinvention, launching into a second full career with a side hustle that continues to this day.

He would buy children’s books while on deployment and send them to us with recorded cassette tapes of him reading the books to us to always be available for bedtime stories. He set up flower deliveries in advance for birthdays, phoned in additional orders for unplanned milestones like losing teeth, and when sending my mom flowers for her birthday and their anniversary, would also order a small one for me. I still have all the letters he wrote from his various deployments, tucked away in a box, along with many of the small interesting items he brought back. When he was home, he would set aside time for each of us, to teach us things like riding a bike or fishing. He fully supported my interests as a child, helping out with Girl Scout badge activities and always offered to take my cookie signup sheet into the office (and then my mom would ship all the cookie orders out to the ship, the true MVP of cookie season).

Moving frequently was difficult on me, especially as a teenager, and when he was home, he would make time in his day to drive me to school or pick me up for lunch to make sure we had time to talk. (Even if it was often me venting teenage angst over chicken nuggets.) His driving lessons were unique and valuable to this day. Having been a flight instructor, he was unflappable and calm in the face of a slightly overwhelmed newbie, pointing out that while it seemed tough to me, it was easy mode for him – we were on the ground and nobody was shooting at us. He passed along his belief in safety through maintenance, and delegated important tasks to me at an early age, providing guidance and feedback while teaching me how to do things like plan a cross-country road trip at the age of 10. He encouraged me in my frequently changing hobbies, even if he didn’t always understand the appeal of things like LARPing. While I was never enthusiastic about yardwork as a kid, we share an interest in gardening now, and it’s been so rewarding getting to teach each other things as adults.

He never let logistical complexities get in the way of being there for us, despite being half a world apart all too often and occasionally needing to fight a war. We have never had cause to doubt his love or commitment to our success, even if our paths to becoming fully functioning adults was meandering and had its hiccups. He and my mom demonstrated that lengthy separations are a challenge, but far from insurmountable with good communication and dedication. Over 50 years together and they are still setting an example for me in my own 20 year marriage.

I’m going to stop here in the interests of time, this could probably be a book.

TL:DR: My dad is awesome because of how he never let anything (even major world events) get in the way of being my dad.

Image source: cloudshaper

#24 Survived not one, but 2 humvee explosions by IEDs in Iraq, help fight when their base in Iraq was attacked, came home and loved his family. I have a great respect for him.

Image source: CrispyCrewt0n

#25 Survived Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau (but lost his mom, dad, and big brother).

Image source: ciaomain, Pixabay

#26 My dad was a cop in a large American city. By the time I was teenager he already had over 25 years on the job and had retired into a second career as an insurance investigator.

Image source: all4whatnot, Kindel Media

Not once, but twice, he and I were out running errands and witnessed horrible car accidents. This is before the era of cell phones. Both times I watched as he quietly put our car into park and set about stabilizing the wounded, delegating tasks to gawkers, and pretty much taking charge until the first responders got there.

Pretty much the worst s**t I’ve ever seen in my life, he calmly went about the business of saving lives.

#27 Headed a debate with students and staff about the importance of gay rights at university in the 1970’s.

Image source: crypticbullshitt, Anete Lusina

#28 My Dad passed away in Feb of this year. In Dec of last year, he cleared my families (wife and I) debt…all of it, mortgage, college loans for both wife and I, medical, CC, cars, etc… completely. Literally only have utility bills. That was pretty Epic and I miss him dearly.

Image source: Blackpalms, Alex Green

#29 My father and me were driving our motorcycles one day on curvy backroads of eastern Belgium,. It was a rainy spring day, later in the afternoon we got cold and tired. We had miscalculated our route and it was getting late. Too much time riding, a long way still to our hotel. We started to skip rests.

Then, due to exhaustion I suddenly missed a tight corner, riding about 25 meters behind him I target fixated on the outside bend and missed my line. I could not save it. I bailed instinctively, my rental sailed through the air into a meadow a couple of meters lower, I ended up in a ditch close to the road. I was fine, relatively. No major injuries.
My father had seen me fly through the air in his right hand mirror. He must have frozen in horror, but he made a perfect 180 on his 300Kg Honda St1100 and came back to see if I survived. I did.

We rode to a nearby town, scuttled my damaged bike in a courtyard to be picked up by the insurance agent, got a tetanus shot and a quick checkup at a doctors office, then rode back to the hotel together on my fathers Honda.

The next morning, we made ready to ride back home north. I waited a moment next to my father’s bike to mount it as a pillion, all stiff, sore and aching from the crash. But he did not start the bike. In stead, h handed me the keys and said: “Here, you drive. Bring us home. I’ll ride with you. Just ride, if you don’t now, you’ll get frightened.” So I did. I was terrified at first, but only for a while. It wore off quickly. And he sat behind me, all the way and let me take us home, despite me crashing my bike the day before.

This was a true act of grace, wisdom, trust and courage I hope to be able to emulate with my children one day.

Image source: vaderflapdrol

#30 I went to an auto shop for the first time by myself for repairs when I was 18 and they ended up charging me $1200. I thought that was just the price that had to be paid so I paid it. My dad picked me up from the shop and when he saw how much I paid he parked the car, went inside and asked for a manager. He was calm but angry at the same time and I could tell it intimidated the manager who ended up doing the same service for $600 after they rediscussed the price and the manager refunded the rest back on my card. After that I have always negotiated payments for any auto repairs and I’ll shop around town if they dont offer a fair price.

Image source: PC_Pickle, Jonathan Borba

Shanilou Perera

Shanilou has always loved reading and learning about the world we live in. While she enjoys fictional books and stories just as much, since childhood she was especially fascinated by encyclopaedias and strangely enough, self-help books. As a kid, she spent most of her time consuming as much knowledge as she could get her hands on and could always be found at the library. Now, she still enjoys finding out about all the amazing things that surround us in our day-to-day lives and is blessed to be able to write about them to share with the whole world as a profession.

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