Celebrating Father’s Day today and yesteryear

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Being a parent is not easy. Throughout my life, I have been a loving father, a terrible parent, a deadbeat dad and doting grandfather. But one thing that has always been a constant, despite my actions, is my undying love for my children. In the end, I believe that is what makes the difference.

My children have learned to overlook my shortcomings, embrace my strengths and fortunately through the good and the bad have stayed by my side through the thick and thin.

Being a parent is not easy. Throughout my life, I have been a loving father, a terrible parent, a deadbeat dad and doting grandfather. But one thing that has always been a constant, despite my actions, is my undying love for my children. In the end, I believe that is what makes the difference.

My children have learned to overlook my shortcomings, embrace my strengths and fortunately through the good and the bad have stayed by my side through the thick and thin.

Coming from a very stable and loving family, it is hard to comprehend this love that they have for me. There are so many families torn apart by some of the most unreasonable reasons, that I count myself fortunate to be blessed with my kids and grandkids that range in age from 5 to 32

Even in my darkest times, they are there beside me. I could write a book about each one of them and the things that they have done that have enriched my life beyond anything I ever could imagine. So when it comes to celebrating Father’s Day, there is nothing that I need that they have not already given me.

Although parenting never ends, now that my children are older one of the greatest joys in my life is that I have three friends that I love, trust and always desire to have around me (well almost always). And though they might not realize it, the gifts they give me are intangible. Each one is different, yet we share things in common that bring us closer together. It is much easier as we all get older. We can laugh at the things we used to fight over, we get to tease and torment the little ones as much as we want and we have a wonderful time when we are all together. As a father, I cannot ask for more.

One reason I cherish these years especially is because I lost my father way too early in life to Alzheimer’s. I was angry and believed life was cruel because when it happened was that magical point in life when we were just getting to know each other as adults. I was still in my late teens and I needed his wisdom and guidance. Even though I thought I knew it all, inside I knew I still needed him. There is not a day that goes when a memory swiftly passes through and reminds me of what a great man he was and though being young, I didn’t always see it, he had the same undying love for me that I now hold, cherish and understand.

I’m over the anger and have learned that everything I needed to know, he showed me at one point or another while he was around and active in my life. It has taken years for me to realize many of them, but as strange as life can be, it is always when I need it the most.

The same goes for the other men in my life, past and present, that have taken on the responsibility of loving me regardless. They have come in the form of my grandfather, uncles, father-in-law and mentors in life that I have picked up along my journey.

These are lessons learned that you will never find in a book and in many cases you will not see them when you are looking for them the most. But they do come and when they do, they bring life, teachings, comfort and most of all, the ability to pass it on to the next generation. And the next generation does not have to be blood related, just someone you love dearly.

Although it always brings a lot of reflection, Father’s Day is really a day that as my grandfather would say, to count your blessings. 

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