Today is the ninth father’s day that I have spent without being able to thank my dad for all he did for me. I leave you with a post that I wrote 6 years ago:
Dealing with life and death issues as often as I do, I really felt like I
knew what was coming when I learned of my father’s passing. I was wrong.
any boy, I loved my father. A boy’s love for his father is not the
affection you show for a lover, nor is it even remotely like the love of
a mother for her children. You see, boys have a need to seek the
approval of their fathers. They are driven by an overwhelming need to
grow into even a fraction of the man that they perceive their fathers to
be. Most of all, they want to earn the respect of their Dad.
fought in a war. I gave him grandchildren. I became the first person in
my family tree to graduate from college. I have delivered babies, and I have
held others as the life slipped from their bodies, and felt the pain of being the last person to speak with them as they left this world and entered the next, all the while wondering if there was anything else that I could have done. I have pulled dying
people out of burning buildings. I once jumped in a lake and saved a drowning
man from an alligator. When my dad had a heart attack, I was the medic
who treated him. I have filled sandbags in Missouri to save flooding
homes, sifted through ruined homes looking for the dead after hurricanes and tornadoes, spent weeks in the woods fighting wildfires,
and fed the survivors of dozens of disasters. All of these things I did, trying to be half the
man I perceived my father to be. After his death, I began to teach classes on medical
procedures, hoping to teach the next generation of providers. Again, for
Then he was gone. I carried him to his grave, and since
that time, I have carried my grief around in my heart like a lead
weight, and at times it has been nearly overpowering. I asked myself
countless times if I measured up.
This morning, my son came to me
with 2 movie tickets and asked me if I wanted to go out with him. We
spent the afternoon with each other. I am proud of my son, as he starts
his new job on Monday as a firefighter. As I looked at him on the way
home, I realized that my son was trying to be larger than life.
Just like his Dad.
I finally did it Dad, I am just like you.
to you, son: You have indeed earned my respect. You have fulfilled
every expectation and dream that any father has a right to hope for his