Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father's Day essay and thoughts


I wrote this piece last year, on Father's Day.  It has proven to be, by far, the most popular single post I've ever written.  I'd like to repeat it now, for Father's Day 2013, and add one note.  Too many of us, myself included, have not taken advantage of the opportunity to have good (or even any) relationships with their fathers.  I now wish, a number of years after my father's passing, that I knew him better, and that I worked harder on a relationship.  Alas, I did not.  Do you still have that chance?

And, now, my Father's Day essay reprise (from 2012)...

As a person, I have observed many examples of ‘fathers’ and regrettably more bad than good.  On a positive note, I was particularly struck by two recent pieces related to fatherhood, one by LZGranderson at cnn.com, and the other by Dominic Utton at the Mail Online.

As an author, I have often created characters in a father role.  In certain of my books, the father is described after his death. In Playing the Baseball Card, the protagonist describes his father as a man who ‘made sure that his children were the most important part of his life.

In Aiden’s Arrival: Honor Before Gold, a now-grown son describes a man who assumed a father’s role by marrying a women with two young children.  “None of us; my mother, my sister, my nephew, my niece; were related to our father and grandfather by blood, but that didn’t matter to him.  He showed us, by his example, that family is about loving people, and caring about people, and living together in a supportive way.  Not always in harmony, but always caring about your family more than anything else.  He lived that kind of life, and today we carry on with that legacy.

In Zac and the Reluctant Prince, Book 1 of the Prince David series, the father is described this way:  “The example of his life teaches us the lessons of responsibility, obligation, commitment, dedication, loyalty, patriotism and also compassion.  In his life, he strove to be the best son he could be, the best husband he could be, the best father he could be, the best officer he could be, and the best man he could be.”

If you know your father, what do you think of him? If you knew your father, how do you remember him?

I believe a real father is one who looks into the eyes of his children, and says to them, “My life improved the day you came into my life, and my life gets better every day that you are still in my life.”  I also believe a real father is the kind of role model I’ve described in the excerpts from my books, above. 

If you have the chance to be a father, or if you are a father, how do you want to be remembered? 

To all fathers, everywhere, Happy Fathers’ Day.

Wil

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