Happy father’s day to all the fathers out there who try, who care and who want to be a father. Some didn’t want to be but stepped up and because the best father they could be. Some stood in for absent fathers and became the best father they could be. Some have always wanted to be dads and took to the challenge with relish. On this fathers day I would like to honor my father, Jack.
When I was a younger, like many kids, I wanted to be like my dad. I saw my dad as a good person, strong, smart and an all-around superman. I am sure many kids see their dads in the same way. As I got to be in my teens I was one of those rare kids at the time that didn’t see their parents as ‘enemies’. I got along with my parents. I was working for my father at 16. I also bowled on a men’s league with my dad at 16. I am pretty sure many kids that age want to hang with their dad that much, but it was these interactions that really made me want to be like my dad.
At every juncture I marveled at how people reacted to my dad. Everyone he interacted with seemed to like and/or inspect my dad. I don’t remember playing catch with my dad or going to baseball games and such (even though we DID) but I remember how people reacted to my father. At bowling he was a friend to everyone. People were always around him. At work I saw how he treated his employees and heard how they talked about him when he wasn’t around. The people there respected him and he respected them back. He was a hard boss but he was a fair one. Your performance would be criticized if wrong but it wasn’t personal. I used to get pissed at him while working for him because I often got the crappy jobs to do. I complained about it one day and he told me he gives me those because he could trust me to get them done correctly. While he didn’t talk much he was always one to strike up a conversation with the cashier or waitress and everyone would be all smiles. He knew the names of every gas station attendant between our house and his work
I grew to realize that my father was a good man and THAT is what I strive to be each day, just like my father. I slack off on that from time to time, but I really do try my best. Some days I succeed and some days I fail spectacularly. When I die, if I have people say that they respected me and just remember me as a good person, I will have succeeded. Until then, I will continue to try…