I have written a lot about my father, but on this Father’s Day I want to go on record saying he was the best man I have ever known. He was strong and honest, firm but gentle, exacting but patient. His failure was that his son did not grow up to be a better father than he was. He once said to me, “Son, if a man’s children don’t grow up to be better than he is then he has failed as a father. He has everything he learned growing up and everything he learned from his own mistakes to teach his kids so they can be better than him.”
I’m not certain it works that way, but I have tried to live up to the high standard he set. Every time I put on my work jeans I wear his belt and when I buckle it I wonder how well I’m doing building on his foundation. It’s a high bar to reach for, but a joy to try.
June 20, 2010