|My grandfather and my dad|
Shopping for men is never easy! We've all bought the ties that were never worn or the gimmicky thing we thought Dad would absolutely love, that was never used.
I was pretty safe when I stuck with books. Dad and I both loved history and I searched out many a signed copy of history books and bought many, many more of the swashbuckling sea sagas he loved.
While I don't remember what I bought as a gift on the year I got it right, I do remember sitting down with a card and planning on adding a couple of nice lines to the Hallmark sentiment. My family is notably non-demonstrative. We are not huggers and kissers. Right or wrong, we are more for showing love by actions than by words. Somehow, though, one particular Father's Day seemed to be the time to tell my dad what he really meant to me.
I wrote a letter that was a thank you for all the adventures and experiences he had brought to my life. I thanked him for imparting his life philosophy and morals. Having just come through a difficult time in my life, I told him how grateful I was for his support and the security I had been blessed with because my dad was always, unquestionably there for me.
The letter ended with thanking him for being someone to love and admire; a role model that I tried, each day, to live up to.
The next day, when we were alone, Dad patted me on the back and simply said, "Thanks for the letter." I nodded. I told you we are not a demonstrative family!
After Dad passed away, my sister and I went through the little chest he kept his important things in. There among his service medals, teaching certificates, university diplomas and awards was that little letter! He had kept it all those years!
I keep the letter in a box with my important things. It reminds me to tell people how much they mean to me.
To all the great dads out there, thank you for all you do to raise the next generation. You lead by example and the future is in your hands. My dad was a great dad because he had a great dad. My grandsons will be great dads because they have great dads. You are our safe harbours and solid rocks. We need you!
Happy Father's Day!