Sunday, June 17, 2012


Happy Fathers Day to all the dads out there! This is the one day of the year specifically designed for sitting back, propping up the feet, grabbing a drink, and watching a ball game or two.

I have mentioned many times how it seems that fathers have had a great influence on the lives of many bloggers. Their passing often remains a difficult issue with us many for years.

In wanting to focus on the positive today, though, I am reminded that what often helps defines fatherhood is a simple word: sacrifice. My dad worked two jobs for much of his adult life to be able to make the move from living in the city (Chicago) out to a nice area in the suburbs. He was not a very complicated man in his needs, but his experiences in World War II left indelible marks in his psyche. He carried a WWII attitude throughout his life: you do what you need to do and don't complain about it. He tended to be more distant from the family until his later years in life, when he seemed to flourish with conversation and contact. The times he broke out are among some of my all-time favorites.

My father-in-law was much different than my own father. He was very gregarious and worked a professional job, unlike my father who was a blue collar worker. He had an almost never ending positive attitude and was a very religious man. He saw himself as the captain of this big ship with many children, including a mentally and physically handicapped son. He clearly led the family in a righteous manner, but could also be one of the guys. The fishing trips I took with him and the male folk from his family were fantastic.

I took clues from both men in becoming the kind of father I am. I inherited my dad's notion of just hunkering down and doing work, but also my father-in-law's positive attitude and love for talking, telling stories, making lame jokes ... One other thing II inherited is that notion of sacrifice. My kids will never know the extent of things I have done for them over the years. It took me many years myself to appreciate the sacrifices my dad made for my family. It is sometimes kind of funny when I think about how little I spend on myself. I guess it is part of that fatherly tradition that is handed down. Mothers are often the great nurturers of the family, but usually lurking somewhere in the background is a father who is doing the dirty work to make everything possible.

So today ... a tip o' the hat to all the fathers out there. It is quite a fraternity -- one in which I am proud to hold membership. I just might prop my feet up and watch a few innings of Cubs or White Sox baseball today.


Blogger The Neophyte said...

Happy Fathers Day to you Lightning. Hope you enjoy your day.

11:24 AM  
Anonymous KenP said...

30 years down the road, I expect your son will share a similar tale.

11:55 AM  
Blogger grrouchie said...

30 years down the road your kid will link to this post and do some good nature'd ribbing.

Then he'll say some positive things.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Happy Fathers' Day.

7:06 PM  
Blogger David Westbay said...

I hope you had a good Father's Day, sir. I am also proud to be a member of that club.

6:15 PM  

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