It’s been over three years since my Dad passed away and I miss him. I have often often wondered what my dad would say about me, my family and the life I have lead. That’s why this year I want to tell my kids that I love them and give them each a message from their dad. I love them all more than life itself; I love them each in a way that no one but me can measure. All of my kids carry a part of me with them in their actions, thoughts and the way they live their lives.
When describing raising my kids to others I like using the analogy of a tool box. Each of our kids was given a proverbial tool box when they were born. As parents we gave the kids the tools to live life taking responsibility for the life they live. I gave them all the tools I could and others gave tools that filed in the gaps. The others were (teachers, clergy, grandparents, neighbors and the day care lady Leslie) to name a few. They all have the tools needed to survive life. Some of them have added tools on their own others have placed the tool box on the shelf to be used later.
For what it’s worth here is what your dad thinks of you from the heart:
You were my first and I have loved you since the day I met you. When you introduced me to your friends as your dad I knew then that you were mine forever. You captured my heart and taught me about being a father. Because of you I wanted to be a better man.
When you were young I used to sing you a song that went something like this.
Darcie if you want me to be closer to you
Get closer to me
Darcie if you want me to love, love only you
Then love only me
Darcie if you want me to see, see only you
Then see only me
Now years later I must confess that I stole the lyrics from Seals and Croft. I used to sing to you because of what I felt in my heart when I held you close. Now years later you’re getting ready to start the next chapter of your life. Instead of getting closer to me you’re going the opposite way. I’m OK with that because I know you’re always with me in my heart and never farther than a phone, text or E mail message away. I ask that you continue to use the tools given to you. You have so much to offer the people that you come into contact with whether at work or at home. Don’t sell yourself short and never allow yourself to be someone’s “second in command”. You and I both know that your partnership material both at work and in your private life.
I’m proud of you, the life you have lead and the woman that you have become. I love you Darcie go forth and do great things!
You too have been with me from day one. You were just a baby when we met but you also captured my heart and soul. I’m sure you will agree the road we have traveled together has been under construction at times. It wasn’t all bad and there are many memories of us I will treasure forever! I hope that being a father now has opened your eyes to what being a father really means. I hope that you understand some of the sacrifices I had to make in order to provide for my family. Being a father isn’t easy by any means. Being a father living a ways away from your daughter makes it even harder. You’ve been given the same tools as the rest, it’s time to pull the toolbox out and do a little maintenance, update and inventory.
Hopefully of the tools I gave you you’re using the one dealing with making the best of the time you have together. I was gone a lot throughout your life with work, schools and necessary travel. Being a dad one or two weekends a month means placing emphasis on spending quality time with her over quantity by putting your daughter’s needs above your own. I know that’s not hard for you because watching you around Aubrey I know you want what’s best for her. You can be a young adult anytime, being a father to your daughter is forever. Don’t find yourself in my shoes wondering where the time went and if you truly did your best at being a father. Don’t ever sell yourself short and never accept anything less than your dreams.
You have the potential to do great things if you choose. The future is yours for the taking! I love you Matt!
Jacki what can I say but wow! It seems like you went from childhood to motherhood almost overnight. Watching you with the boys has me thinking what a wonderful mother you have become. It shouldn’t surprise me as a little girl you were a mother to your siblings, pets and the neighbor kids. You definitely were born to be a mom and I’m excited for whatever the future may hold for you.
I’ve said it before and I will say it again whatever the future holds count your blessings today. You were blessed to have the boys enrich your life. Regardless of the outcome, the boys will always remember “Jacki” as the one that loved them, cared for them, and made their house a home. When looking to the future remember what I told you early on “Never forget who you are, never forget your dreams and most importantly never become a person you don’t recognize in the mirror". You are who you are and the person that truly understands this quality will cherish you forever. Just like a wild animal you should never be taken from the wild and made to live in anything less than the standards and goals you have set for yourself.
Between me and you, I was surprised the day that you enlisted into the military, but I’m not surprised by the path you have now chosen. You’re a people person whose priorities are about the individual not the numbers.
You’re a great mom, a beautiful lady and my daughter I’m a better man because of you. I love you Fish!
You and I will always share the bond of being the baby of the family. To this day I ponder whether better to be the baby or to be the eldest child. Both have their benefits, but being the baby means you’re the last one home when the rest have moved on. I know I felt a little guilty when I finally moved out of my parents house, let me just say don’t worry about me and mom were going to be OK.
I love the way you look at life and the ways you have envisioned your life to be. I’m sure you have benefited from lessons learned as your siblings took off, crashed and rebounded. It’s your time now to leave the minor league and head for the majors. It’s time to see if your fresh ideas, wisdom, and the tools in your tool box will really work. Be prepared to adapt your ideas and to adjust your goals as you travel down your chosen path.
You’re going to meet more interesting people that will share their opinions with you. If you take them to heart remember opinions are like butt holes, everyone has one. One of your gifts is seeing through the smoke and mirrors to see people for who they really are. Remember the wizard of Oz was scary until the curtains were removed and the Wizard was exposed. Until you walk in another person’s shoes you may never understand why some people behave the way they do. Give people an honest chance and you will be rewarded with friendships that will last a lifetime! Unconditional love/friendship for others will make you a great man.
What can I say about your service to your country except that you and only you are in charge of your destiny? I knew from early on that you would join the military when you were ready; I only hoped that you wouldn’t be disappointed. Just like life, you will get out of the military what you’re willing to put into it.
I am proud of the man you have become. I love you Meho! While you’re in the game just know that mom and dad will be on the sidelines if you should need us.
What would a father’s day letter to his children be without a bit of advice and that is when in doubt remember to use the tools WWMD (What would Mom Do) and WWDD (What would Dad Do). Either tool should set you up for success.
To the others that have touched my life and found a place in my heart thank you for your gift of friendship. Thank you for making my world a better place just by being in it. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart allowing me to be a better father to my kids.
To my dad just know that I meant it when I told you I was sorry not so many years ago. You were startled by my apology and asked me to explain. I said I was sorry that I doubted his parenting skills. As a child I always envisioned things that I would do differently when I raised my kids. I saw all kinds of holes in my parents parenting skills, until I became a father myself. I always told myself that when I became a parent I was going to do things different. So Dad let me just say “Old man take a look at me now I’m a lot like you were”.
That is all,
P.S. A golfer friend of mine passed along these words that apply to golf and life “Play the course, don’t let the course play you”.