I have been blessed to have been surrounded by three amazing fathers in my lifetime; my own dad, my father-in-law, and my hubby. Now granted, only one of the three was (and is) my actual father, but I have more than learned valuable lessons from all three extraordinary men.
My dad is crazy. I say that with all the love in the world, and with the use of the word in only the happiest of ways. He’s the guy who has never met a stranger. The one who will strike up a conversation with any person, anywhere, simply because he’s always maintained this viable sense of curiosity about the world and the people in it. He’s quick-witted, and I fully believe he’s that rare individual who only gets younger as he ages. At the rate he’s going, he’s going to soon be the age of my own son.
A Veteran of the Korean War, he’s always been passionate about collecting war memorabilia, and as such has shared many stories and treasures with my brother and I. He continues to share his knowledge of history with my own husband and kids, and pretty much anyone who will listen. He volunteers his time once a week at our local Veteran’s Memorial Museum, simply because he cannot imagine NOT doing so. He’s a self-taught pianist, a builder by trade, and after 55 years he’s still madly in love with my mom.
You can pretty much guess what I’ve learned from him, but I’m going to tell you anyway. Family. Honor. Sense of duty. Humor, among all else. And love. Always love. I could go on and on, but truly all I want to say is….thank you for being my dad. I’m such a lucky girl. I love you so much.
Someone once told me that when you marry, you marry not only your spouse, but their family as well. Fairly obvious statement, I know, but the truth is far bigger. When I married I gained all sorts of wonderful people, especially the only other man I’d ever refer to as “Dad”.
Like my own father, my father-in-law had a wicked sense of humor. He loved to tell a good story (and frequently repeated some he’d told you already), and he always enjoyed sharing a few Oreo cookies with me. He and I had a special relationship, one I will cherish always and miss as each day passes without him. A big love of a man, he enfolded me into his family, no questions asked. He embraced me literally and figuratively, and I will always, always miss his laughter. From him I learned the power of acceptance, the ability to laugh at yourself, and that you can never have enough father figures in your life. I miss you and I love you, Tom. Every, single day.
Father’s Day wouldn’t be complete without sending out a thank you to my own hubby, the father of our two extraordinary, amazing kids. I thought I was lucky finding a good man to marry, but discovering what an exceptional father he was still leaves me awestruck. From him I’ve learned patience, which anyone who knows me will attest that I can always use more of. We both know parenting isn’t easy, but we have always, always stuck together. Those two people we raised may have given us challenges along the way, but every struggle was worth it. I’d do it again in a minute as long as I knew you were right there with me. Mark…I love you so much.
Finally, to all the other fathers out there….I wish to thank you. As a mom, I know you get the short end of the stick sometimes, but please know that your sacrifices do not go unnoticed. I hope you have a joyous day and are celebrated like you deserve to be.