Commentary by Bill Buchanan
I think of my daddy often, especially at this time of year. I lost him to lung cancer at an early age. He was a strong, hardworking and decent man. A strict disciplinarian, he had very definite ideas about how his children should behave. But he was always quick with a smile, and was very affectionate, which was rare for men of his generation. I never doubted that I would get punished for bad behavior, but I also never doubted that he loved me very much.
Daddy was a heavy smoker. There is no uncertainty about what killed him, and his death was the defining moment of my youth. The loss was hard on my entire family, especially for my mother, my sister and me. I miss him still.
For those of you who are fathers, I encourage you to take a moment and think about how much influence you wield — how much your children look up to you as an example of how to live their own lives. Take the time to let them know how much you love them. There is nothing sweeter to a child’s ears than to hear “I love you” or “I’m proud of you” from a parent.
For those who have lost their fathers, and for those lucky enough to still enjoy them, here is a Father’s Day tribute to the men who raised us.
A father is:
Someone who teaches you the most valuable lessons in life —- the importance of working hard, being honest, treating people with respect, and making good friends.
Someone who teaches you things that are almost as important — like how to throw a pass, bait a fishhook and hit a baseball.
Someone who takes you to ball games, county fairs and other great events; and doesn’t mind if you get a little dirty in the process —- which makes them even more fun.
Someone who is never too tired to play catch with you —- even if he has had a tough day.
Someone you respect, and whose respect you would do anything to earn.
Someone whose legs are strong enough to bounce you and your friends on them forever.
Someone who is swift and just with his discipline when you deserve it; and is just as quick with love and advice when you need it.
Someone who brings you a surprise when he comes home after work or from a trip.
Someone who treats your friends like they were his own children.
Someone who occasionally sneaks down to the store with you for an ice cream cone before supper. There is no dessert as sweet as the forbidden one.
Someone whose strength and self-confidence make you feel safe and secure.
Someone you want to imitate so much that the highest compliment someone can pay you is, “You know, you’re just like your daddy.”
Happy Father’s Day.