I am a most fortunate baby boomer because both of my parents are still in my life and relatively healthy. I should be so lucky if and when I reach their age! Today being Father’s Day, I wanted to write a little something about my Dad and mention just a few of the many ways in which he has made my life a better one.
First, I want to thank my Dad for his compassion. When we are young, we don’t appreciate the deep feelings that good parents have for their children. For Dads, these feelings can be even harder to perceive because men are culturally trained to hide many of their emotions. The deep compassion my Dad had for his children was brought home to me in a special way one summer when I was home from college. This was the summer I had my wisdom teeth removed. It was a very messy procedure. At home after the procedure I felt awful, spitting up and vomiting blood into a bucket because the removal site would not stop bleeding. My Dad was at my side frequently, tending to the bucket and checking on my progress. At one point – a moment that has been seared into my memory – my Dad came close to tears and told me in a quivering voice “Mark, if I could trade places with you, I would.” I knew that he meant it 100%.
Second, I want to thank my Dad for his efforts to maintain family togetherness. I have four siblings and for most of our adult lives, we have been scattered about the country. Over the years my Dad has gone above and beyond any call to parental duty by sponsoring family trips so that we could all be together for fun times, regardless of our respective financial resources. He has organized and sponsored summer beach trips to the Carolinas, winter trips to New Hampshire, and a Christmas cruise. This summer, Dad is sponsoring a family Alaskan cruise – 35 members and four generations coming together for a week. Without my Dad’s efforts in this area, I doubt that our family would be as close as it is now.
Third, I want to thank my Dad for introducing me to technology. My Dad majored in physics and parlayed his technical skills into a variety of sales and management positions. He made a point to bring me into the technical world, including teaching me to solder and exposing me to some old radio equipment he kept in the basement. From that, he encouraged and supported my amateur radio hobby. I became an electronics kit builder myself. Later, I went to engineering school (paid for by my parents) and Dad found me summer jobs as a computer programmer and technician. I still work in technology – as a patent lawyer. I have loved all of it and my Dad must receive most of the credit for starting me on this path.
Finally, I have to thank Dad for my hair. I still have a full head of it. Some folks say that the hair gene comes from your mother but since Dad still has a lot of his hair, I’m giving the credit to him.
I could write a lot more but I think I will save the rest of it for when I see my Father in August for our cruise.
If you are lucky enough to be able to speak to your Dad today, be sure to thank him.