Thursday, June 16, 2016

Every year on Father’s Day, I’m reminded of all of the great men who’ve been a part of my life and made a positive impact on the person I am today. Of course, my own father has had the most influence. But, I grew up with an older brother, as well, who certainly made his mark. My brother is not one to give me a big hug when he sees me or any other form of sibling love. But, I always know he has my back no matter what.

I grew up with multiple grandfathers. My mother’s parents divorced before I was born, and both remarried. So, I had three grandfathers: Rodney (my dad’s dad), Richard (my mom’s dad) and Fred (my mom’s step-dad). Though my grandpa Richard is the only one in the bunch still living, I think I had a special bond with each of them.

My grandpa Fred was an amazing guy. He had stories of his world travels and had a deep, good-for-radio voice that was as soothing as it was intimidating. Grandpa Fred once served as King Faisal of Saudi Arabia’s personal assistant when he flew on aircraft.

My grandpa Rodney was a gentle, kind-hearted man who did his best to take care of his family and would drop everything to ensure needs were met. I still remember him wheeling a bicycle through the front door of our house for a birthday I was having. I grinned from ear-to-ear and hugged him hard.

My grandpa Richard, while he lives the farthest, was always a lot of fun to be around. Whether he was telling corny jokes or letting me drive the cart while he played golf (and taking the blame when I ran over a tree), I knew I was in for a good time full of laughter and love.

With all these men in my life, it’s only natural that my son also has a group of extraordinary men to look up to. From both sides of his family, Michael has smart, handsome and charming men whom he can lean on as he grows up. When he becomes a father himself, I hope that he remembers the love and respect each of these men instilled in him since day one.

Happy Father’s Day to each father or father figure in our community. May you all be blessed on this day and every day as you raise future teachers, doctors, scientists, engineers and even journalists.

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