Happy Fathers Day to all the dad’s out there, whether to your biological children or to those whom you chose to love as your own. I salute you. While it may only take a simple transfer of bodily fluid to become a father, being a dad is something else entirely.
Any male can be a father, but it takes a man to be a dad. I was very fortunate to have had a dad who taught me right from wrong, who taught me to respect other people and, most importantly, who taught me to follow my dreams. My dad always told me I could accomplish anything I wanted in life if I was willing to work hard enough and to make the sacrifices it took to make those dreams come true.
My dad also gave me a work ethic. My first job was working at Mr. Tsakos’ corner gas station for a summer. I begged my dad to intercede on my behalf when the old Greek businessman didn’t want to hire a kid, because kids were unreliable. Then a week or two later all of my friends were having fun on summer vacation and I decided I wanted to play too, so I told dad I was quitting the job. He told me that I could either go to work every day, as I had promised Mr. Tsakos, or I could spend those eight hours a day in my room (way before a kid’s room had computers and TVs), but I wasn’t going to goof off after he had given his word I’d be on the job. I earned quite a bit of money that summer, working for Mr. Tsakos and came away with a work ethic too.
It’s been many years since we laid my dad to rest, but I still miss him every day. And I still remember the lessons he taught me. I’ve had a little bit of success in my life as a journalist and author, and my dad didn’t live long enough to see that, but I think he’d be very proud of me if he were still here. I could write a hundred more books and make a fortune, but to me, the ultimate success would be if someday my own kids were to think of me with the same love and respect I hold for my dad.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you.