Today, on this anniversary of his birth, I am celebrating Father’s Day. Though he has been gone for too many years, and was ripped from my life way too soon, my father made a huge impact upon my life, one that continues today, more than fifty years later.
If anyone reading this is a father, I am speaking to you today. What you say, what you do, and how you live your life, makes a major impression on the child you raise.
I knew the impact my dad had upon me, but when I met prisoners the impact a father has became even more apparent. So many of the men I talked with either had had no father figure at all in their lives, or they had been treated poorly by one. Often, though, that father had been absent from their lives for a very long time.
When I was little, my father read to me and told me bedtime stories. He took me horseback “riding” around a corral. I remember walking through a field where he pointed out a snakeskin that had been shed. He would comfort me when I woke from a bad dream. Together we looked at the stars and made up stories of life on other lands. He encouraged my creativity. He challenged me with our very own spelling bees.
Fathers, I want you to know how extraordinary you are to that precious child of yours! Guide him, encourage him, challenge him, love him. You will be remembered forever if you do!
Happy birthday, Daddy! You are my hero.