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Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father...

Today, of all days, I am grateful to have my father. Not only glad that he is still alive and available to talk to, but thankful for the kind of man he is.

People say I am my father's son. I suppose that most likely means that I have a similar eclectic (and somewhat eccentric) sense of humor, and my voice echoes with his. I suspect that my penchant for groaning puns and the ability to hear cadence in speech and fit random phrases to well-known music may have something to do with it. It probably also means that I unconsciously share a number of his distinct mannerisms, and there is no doubt when we walk into a room together to whom I belong.  The apple, they say, does not fall far from the tree, and while I am not a teacher, the resonance of "son of an English Professor" is profound in my life.

But I hope that it also means that I am a hard worker, and a principled man. I hope that it means that I will do whatever is right, even when it hurts me. I hope that it means that I will someday teach my own children the same kind of upright walk and love for people that he has demonstrated in his own life. I hope it means that every so often, be it ever so tarnished by my own choices and folly, people might see half the reflection of God in me that they will see glistening in my father. I hope that it means that the love of learning will never die, and that whatever I learn, I will have the wisdom to pass on. I hope that it means that no matter how much I am tempted to be embittered by the slings and arrows of life, I can always find joy in a good book, a good movie, a good comic, and time spent with family.

In a day and age when it is considered funny to devalue and lampoon a man on the day that is supposed to be honoring him, my father will not be getting a store-bought card from me.  And there is really no tribute that can do justice to a lifetime of shaping. But for what it's worth:

Happy Father's Day, Dad. For all the miles between us, I'm glad you're only a phone call away.   

I love you.