I am grateful for my father, and the father figures I have had in my life.
On this day of celebrating fathers, I share my appreciation with those men I know who are shining examples of what it means to be a father.
A father is a special sort of man who wants to give every tool, lesson and tip he’s collected, in order to help another be prepared to make it safely in the world. They’re sometimes too tough, sometimes too soft, but the best of them can’t be missed. Their eyes light up when they witness their children succeed, and their hearts soften when they watch them fall. Smiles span their faces when they’re given homemade ties and ceramic pencil holders, and their chests puff up nicely when they’re asked for help. They might be short on words, but never on love and encouragement.
But not all fathers are the kind who donate to the gene pool, or even raise a child. They’re the ones refered to when we say, “He was like a father to me.” Like-a-father men are coaches, mentors, team leaders, and counselors. Some are foster parents, grandfathers, uncles, neighbors, the parent of a friend, or even an older brother. Like-a-fathers are invaluable role models who also want to help us succeed and become our best selves.
Today is the day to say thank you to all the dads, fathers, papas, pops, sirs, and like-a-fathers who’ve helped prepare and guide us for this journey we call life. And if yours isn’t around to share your appreciation with, give your words to the wind and know that they will be heard.