My Dad was a cigar smoking, card playing, martini drinking kinda guy. He was also a fan of the Rat Pack, a golfer, a journalist turned PR executive, and a real nice man.
I remember my parents arguing, and I remember a few spankings and a multitude of bellows that always ended with “go to your room.” But I don’t ever remember him being mean. Not to me, my mom, my sister, or anyone else for that matter. It just wasn’t his way.
They say our parents are our greatest teachers and that we all learn best from example. I think I picked up his habit of being Mr. Nice Guy, and I couldn’t have had a better teacher.
It’s not like things didn’t bug him. He was into politics and had strong opinions about the state of the nation, as well as how best to keep the family fed. I know he cared, not because he told us this. He did something much more powerful: he showed us.
When we went through financially difficult times, he found ways of making it work for all of us. When he had to give up his golf course membership, he’d do his swinging and swearing at a public course. A few years later, he was able to rejoin his old buddies at the club, and even got a hole-in-one when he returned. I kept the trophy.
It all makes me wish he was around, so I could say to him that he gave me the greatest gift. He loved me like a son and treated me like a man. I learned about writing, marketing, and how to be a nice guy without coming in last.
I have a few friends whose dads are still around, and they are all grateful for it. The gift of having a father here on the earth is something no one should take for granted. I can’t count the number of times—including right now—that I’ve wanted his counsel or company. And he was always up for a quick game of gin rummy.
My dad never played a video game or used a computer or a cell phone. I remember buying him one of the first handheld calculators (it was $26!). He had a million stories about life in the “newspaper game” and how his family survived the Great Depression. All he ever wanted was peace and comfort in our home.
When Father’s Day came around, after breakfast in bed, he’d take us to “the club” for brunch. We’d all go for a swim and then hang out with other families who, like us, were there on this special day to be with the man who raised and took care of them.
Father’s Day is an opportunity for each of us to celebrate—or in my case, to remember—how significant this man is in our life. Everything I have done, he has had a hand in. Now there’s a comforting thought.
Here are some great quotes from some great people about Father's Day:
"I grew up with mottos to live by: (1) When decision is necessary: Do what will make you happy.(2)When troubles occurred: It was meant to be. Something good will come of this. (3) Money and material things were to be used to help make life easier for people."-Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Magic and Mudpies
"My father has always been supportive and, in particular, he instilled in me the source of my accomplishments, which is: Never Give Up. He has always been there for me. I know that I can always count on him."-Kate Linder, The Young and the Restless
"I unconditionally adored my father. He was fair and rational and steady. He was also wildly amusing. And I always felt that he liked me, although he was never demonstrative about it. In short, I could count on him. Recently, several years after his death, while eating a corn muffin in a local coffee shop on Madison Avenue in New York, I had what I call a PGO: a penetrating glimpse of the obvious. I suddenly realized that he had always allowed me to be who I really am-quite a gift in a world where identity can become porous and fickle."-Helen Fisher, author of Why We Love
"In moments of personal doubt, I remember my father's unlived journey, and I do what needs to be done, for him, in the hope that it might work backward in time to free up his life."-James Hollis, author of What Matters Most: Living a More Considered Life
"The most important thing my father taught me is that when you give your word, you keep your word, no matter what. A man is only as good as his word. That resulted in my own number one rule for Life and Business: 'Do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, the way you said you would do it.'"-Larry Winget, New York Times bestselling author of Your Kids Are Your Own Fault
"Love is a gift, and gifts are given without attachment. When I say I love you, it does not mean you'll stay, but rather I'll miss you if you go."-Barbara Morris Jensen, Psy.D., Camarillo
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