A Father's Day Tribute to my Dad
Father’s Day is both a day of celebration and reflection. It’s a day when sons and daughters pay tribute to dear old dad, but also (at least for me) it’s a day for me to reflect on the example that my dad has given me. My dad’s example has been so important to me as I have grown up from being the youngest in a family to being a dad in my own right. I attribute all that’s right in me to the lessons I have learned from my father.
My dad is the kind of guy who could beat you every time you played him in a sport, but you would never walk away feeling defeated. Instead, you would walk away entertained and happy in knowing that you just made a new friend. He’s a very gentle person, who has an incredible capacity for compassion and the uncanny knack for seeing the positive in the bleakest of times.
My father holds humanity in the highest regard. I remember when my grandfather died (my dad’s dad), and being just overwhelmed with sadness. I remember my dad looking towards me as I was crying with tears in his eyes and saying, “I’m so proud of you.”
My dad is humble and emphasizes humility. My whole life my dad has been preaching humility to me. Having my dad as my dad is like having the most incredible coach alongside me throughout life guiding me in the right way to live and behave. A conscience right there when I need it most. Recently my dad helped intervene during a family conflict. He heard me say that something wasn’t normal. He said, “Joe, what exactly is normal?” It made me think, who’s to say what is normal and what isn’t? Don’t be so quick to judge. Don’t be so quick to react. Love each other.
My dad is one of the truest followers of Christ of I have ever met. In the way my dad lives his life, I have learned that I have so much to learn. My dad doesn’t following religion blindly—he’s a philosopher and mindfully applies all he’s learned into daily life. He quotes scripture not to be preachy, but to drop nuggets of wisdom. For instance, he shared with me a bit of the Gospel recently that I had never even knew existed. My dad said, “One of the most encrypted things Jesus ever said was, ‘Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes' and your 'No' be 'No'; anything else comes from the devil.’ What I have always thought that meant was that we should keep things simple and when we start to over analyze things and pass judgements or say ‘but,’ that’s where we make a mistake.”
You know what? My dad’s right. We don’t need to complicate things. When we start getting into he-said, she-said we don’t do anyone any favors. Let our 'Yes' be 'Yes' and our 'No' be 'No.'
Of all of my dad’s greatest gifts though, the one most enduring is his humor. Humor, to me, is just a form of humility when dispensed properly. Humor is meant to put people at ease. Humor is meant to show that we are all faulted. Humor is meant to defeat one of man’s greatest foes—pride, and my dad wields humor like a world class surgeon wields a scalpel when removing a tumor. Humor. Like everything about my dad, his humor is clever and performed without malice.
There’s so much to say about my dad and it’s hardly fitting to even attempt a tribute to him and what he means to me. He’s a fantastic story teller and captivating from first breath. He’s got a wonderful singing voice and an intense admiration of the Beatles. He’s a great athlete. He’s kind. He’s understated and has simple tastes. My dad is my hero. He’s always been the number one guy I look up to. The man I draw my inspiration from and the voice I hear in my head when I need clarity. He’s my father and my friend. Happy Father’s Day dad—I love you.