Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Father's Day----Love You Dad and Mom!

Well it is the eve of Father’s Day, and at 56 years old I am truly blessed to have both my parents still around.

Father’s Day has an interesting history and was started to complement Mother’s Day. Some historical facts:
  • The first Father's Day actually took place in Fairmont West Virginia, on July 5, 1908. Organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah Mining disaster  several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia  on December 6, 1907. West Virginia  did not officially register the holiday, and it was not celebrated again.
  • All the credit for Father's Day went to Sonora Dodd from Spokane,  who invented independently her own celebration of Father's Day just two years later.
  • Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge actively pursued national recognition of the holiday.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day
  • Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
  • International Men's Day  is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.
The most influential man in my life has been my father. Dad’s wisdom and moral values still influence me today.

Dad continues to be a good husband to my mother. Other than occassional arguments generally held behind closed doors so their children could not hear,  they have been successfully married almost 57 years. They still live in the same house that they raised their 6 children and could have moved to a more spacious home if they had chosen to many years ago.  Rather than invest in a larger house, they chose to take all of us on family vacations and assist us getting through college.

My parents have the good fortune to still have active social lives, reasonably good health, and a well-planned, earned and well-deserved financial security.

A WW2 veteran and a third generation German American Catholic who grew up in Illinois, Dad still goes faithfully to Mass every Sunday and on holy days. Dad has lived by a good moral compass and has passed those values onto his children. Due to Mom being a Methodist who converted to Catholicism, the family discussions about religion have always had a liberal and pragmatic twist to them and they have allowed their children to develop their own thoughts about their personal  spirituality.

Both my parents  have been good non-interfering in-laws to my spouse as well as to my brothers’ and sisters’ spouses. Both Dad and Mom have been good grandparents to their grandsons and sometimes I really don’t know if the grandchildren really know how lucky they are to have them in their lives.
I am very certain many of my life choices would not have been ones Dad would have recommended, but finally, and I don’t really know when, we have appeared to accept each of our quirks as well as our good points.

I have said this to some of my good friends and my wife that when my parents die, I do not have any regrets as to our relationship. I truly recognize the good fortune I am to have my father and my mother still in my life as I approach completing six decades of my life.

Love you Dad and Mom, have a great day.

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