As Father’s Day approaches, I reflect on three fathers that have been the most influential in my life.
First, was my dad. Born in 1897, he was 50 when I came into this world. Because our living quarters were attached to the restaurant my parents owned, my father was always there when I was at home. Even though my dad was quite strict, he always approached his lessons and discipline from a point of love. He shared with me on numerous occasions that he was doing his best to prepare me to be able to take care of myself in the years to come. Because of his age and health problems, he knew he more than likely would not live long enough to not see me become a father. Indeed, he passed when I was 16 years old. But in the years after his death, I grew more and more appreciative that he had taught me well. His teachings gave me tremendous confidence as my life unfolded. Even though decades have gone by, I still recall many life-lessons he imparted, for which I will always be grateful!
But there are two other fathers who have positively influenced my life: my son, Ben, Jr. and my son-in-law, Andy Carroll.
One of the most rewarding perks of being a father is watching your children become parents. Watching them as they see their children for the first time and then seeing them handle the challenges of parenthood gave me a sense ofdeja vou. To this day, I love seeing fatherhood through the eyes of my son and son-in-law.
As I watch their lives unfolding, I see them consistently involved in their children’s lives. They both spend time coaching their children in sports and spend considerable father-daughter time as well as father-son time. When corrective action becomes necessary, it is always done in a firm but loving manner. Ben, Jr. and Andy both are actively raising their children in a manner that properly prepares their children to BECOME inwardly WHO each of my grandchildren aspires to be! What a beautiful thing!
These three fathers have been and are significant role models for me. And even though they are from very different generations, their devotion to their children inspires me and reminds me of this quote:
“A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way.” - Unknown