My father, who became 80 this year, has been wonderful to me. He’s inspired, motivated, and secured me my whole life and I’ve been blessed to have him as my father. From the beginning, he has also given comfort and backing to my mom, who also provides such great support and security to me.
Fatherhood isn’t something that I’ve been able to experience in my life, but it’s something I was able to recognize and seek out in my friends’ fathers. Most of my friends have either had some similar influences from their fathers that I’ve had or have become the kind of father that I’m recognizing. It’s a struggle to strive for and maintain that type of consistency and excellence if you don’t have the example to live with or to learn from. I’m so happy to continue to have that. I see in my brother and my good friends (including my nurses, many of whom are single mothers) the kind of people that raise the kind of children that make a difference. I’ve been blessed to be a godfather and uncle and a friend toward a number of young people that have given me the kind of support and love that I try to give my father. I’m so thankful for that.
I’ve got a nephew that’s graduating from high school and going to college this year, and I’ve been friends with a number of other young people that have gone on to college in recent years. I pray I’ll be able to continue to share the insights and support that my father has given me. I hope to continue to be the friend and brother to my friends and brothers and give them the kind of support and advice that my father has always provided me. Those of you that I’m speaking to that are similarly blessed to have (or be) the kind of father or father figure that I’m talking about, reach out to your loved ones on this special day. Give thanks to God for providing the kind of resources necessary to have that special type of relationship. Give thanks and show appreciation and love to those people that have made your life better and more complete.