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To Dad…

Happy Father’s Day coming this Sunday!  Aren’t fathers and grandfathers great?  The memory of my father brings a proud smile to my face (and my heart!).  If you’re lucky enough to have living fathers and grandfathers, give them more than a handshake on Sunday.  Hugs are the tradition.

Traditionally, men are not renown for showing our emotions, true?  “Be a man”; “cowboy up”; and the like continuously profess our masculinity.  They say a father can only be as happy as his most unhappy child.  My Dad had his periods of unhappiness during his lifetime from the trials and tribulations his sons faced, among others.

I too, have witnessed first-hand the ups and downs of my children and grandchildren.  Their downs are my downs.  Thankfully, I know God only burdens us with the amount of heartbreak we each can handle.  But my children’s ups; their accomplishments; their happiness?  Thankfully, those blessings are boundless.  When my children are happy it brings a smile to my face (and my heart)!

My sons have children in their lives so I get to be the grandfather too!  Grandfathers have responsibilities:

Sometimes the only difference we can make is passing our wisdom on to someone else who will make the bigger difference. 

Linda B. Gray

The older I get the more appreciative I am of the love and devotion I received from my father.   He wanted his sons to make a difference.

He wanted us to be patient with some of his quirkiness, also.  I remember after my Mom died, my Dad ate his dinners at the hospital cafeteria two blocks from his house.  It might have been for the convenience; maybe for the memory of the last place he saw his wife alive.

This lasted every evening for over twenty years.  The employees thought Al Pokorn actually worked there.  One summer, he was even invited to their company picnic!  I didn’t mind this quirky tradition.  But when he won a TV in the employee raffle, I told him he had to give it back.

We Dads are all a little quirky I suppose:

Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he’ll believe you.  Tell him the plate you’re handing him is very hot and he’ll have to touch it to believe it. 

Mike Jaeger

Today when my children use one of my little sayings, or demonstrate a family value or tradition that has been passed down from father to son, it brings a proud smile to my face (and my heart)!

Hopefully, our children and their children will carry on the values and traditions we learned from our fathers and our fathers’ fathers.    For Dads, this is one of fatherhood’s most satisfying accomplishments we can witness while we’re here.

Was it Mickey Mantle who said?

If I knew I was going to live this long I would have taken better care of myself.

Of course, someday our little angels may turn on us; they’ll want to take away our car keys before sending “Gramps” to a home.  And when that day comes we will think of our forefathers again:

When I die, I want to die like my Grandfather who died peacefully in his sleep.  Not screaming like all the passengers in his car.

Unknown Sage

Brings a smile to my face (and my heart!).

So, here’s to my Dad; and your Dad; and Dads across the world.  They have helped us all make a difference – a tradition to be passed down.

GAP

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