I don’t have a good pic of my Dad in my computer, but here is a pic of me and Claire instead…
She was 8 here? Not sure. Claire is 24 now, all grown up.
I wanted to sit down and write a handwritten letter to my father this morning, but then I thought it might be better if I posted it right here for the entire world to see:
Today is Father’s Day, and I’m tremendously grateful to see you and Mom at church this morning, then later today for dinner.
You and Mom are an energetic 73, another thing I’m very grateful for!
You and Mom are such a huge blessing in my life, and I’m glad you live right here in Florida so that we see each other frequently.
Now that my own girls have reached adulthood and are successfully “launched” I’m even more appreciative of what you and Mom did in raising 4 children to adulthood…. and beyond.
None of us were charged with a felony!
It’s not easy, and every stage of parenthood has unique challenges. You and Mom raised an FBI agent, a Registered Nurse, a Fashion Designer…. and whatever the heck I turned out to be!
I know I was wild teen and a huge pain in the ass, but you both supported me when I went to Taiwan, started a goofy balloon business, and more recently went to Ukraine. You both put up with a LOT, most of which I will not detail here due to federal secrecy regulations.
You both provided me an example of what it means to embrace responsibility, love your family and also serve the community, especially your work with our local school and in our church community.
You stayed together in your (53 year!) marriage, even despite challenges.
Now that I’m 48 I’ve come to realize that the BEST men in our society do what you did; accept responsibility, work hard, and love your family.
You went to church to support Mom, even though you were not a very churchy type of guy.
Over 53 years that amounts to 2,756 Sunday services!
That’s a whole lotta Sundays! You must love Mom a lot.
You also earned good money, kept the house nice, and took care of Mom.
A real man takes care of his wife and kids, even if it means waking up at 5AM and driving to a nuclear power plant in a Toyota Corolla with a gazillion miles on it.
You’re still working now, as an unpaid maintenance guy at Harvester Methodist!
There are men in my generation who did not have fathers, or grew up in the turmoil of divorce. Those men did not have the benefit of the example you provided for me, and they are worse off for it.
As Greg the Famous Prison Guard once told me:
“All the guys in my prison had ONE THING in common: no fathers around.”
Dad, you were always around, working 2 jobs sometimes… my entire life.
So on this Father’s Day I’m thanking you, publically…. right here on my blog.
I’ll see you at church at 9AM!
Your Son Ben