With the passing of my father earlier this year, each day in 2012 brings a new perspective. This Father’s Day, the first one in which I can’t tell him how much I appreciate him and thank him for all he did for me, is a good example.
Upon reflection, though, I can tell him: by my actions to my children and their children. Though it may not be verbal, my dad knows now, as he knew before, that he left a huge impact on me, my family, my children, our extended family, and our community. So today, I celebrate Father’s Day as a:
This eulogy pretty much says it all. But I will keep saying it, and telling my kids and grandkids about my Dad, and they will hopefully see in me some of the things I learned from my dad.
As the father of four terrific kids (and I still think they are terrific even after hearing childhood stories for the first time from them as young adults), now increased by two beautiful and wonderful young women who are the delight of my older two sons’ lives, I am simply blessed. I enjoyed watching these kids grow up from newborns to children to teenagers to now young adults. It has not always been easy (my mistakes more than theirs), but it has been quite a ride. Now those kids are 19, 23, 27, and 31 – and I am totally humbled by their lives’ trajectory. I simply say my legacy is being fulfilled in front of me through my kids, and I am so proud of them.
I literally grew up in the presence of grandparents; first, my paternal grandmother who lived in a small house right next to ours, then my maternal grandparents who lived there until I was off to college. As we began our family, both my parents and my wife’s parents, though not physically as close, were involved in our kids’ early lives. I had some good role models when my oldest son announced that he was going to be a dad. So now I am GrandBob to Jack (4) and Lucy (21 months) and Jellybean (due to arrive in late November). What a gig! Though my grandkids are separated by distance, I am glad that they know me and recognize me (joy is your granddaughter playing peek-a-boo on Skype). That makes time when I can be with them (Lucy and her mom spent a week with us recently; we spent the day with Jack yesterday) even all the more special.
On this Father’s Day, although I can’t celebrate with my father in person, I celebrate him through what he gave me, what I am passing on to my kids, and what they, in turn are passing along to their kids (and of course what “spoiling” I get in as GrandBob!).