It’s Father’s Day, and although I’ve been a father for nearly 38 years and a grandfather for nearly eight, I still find myself thinking mostly of my own dad whenever the third Sunday in June rolls around.
I suspect many of you whose fathers have died feel similarly.
I’m a very lucky guy with a wonderful wife, four great now-adult kids and five amazing grandchildren.
One of my very few life disappointments is that my dad never got to meet any of those children or grandchildren and never got to see me become a father.
My father died on Sept. 30, 1981, barely three months after my wife Mary and I were married and nearly two years before our first child — our son Dave — was born in 1983.
He was a great dad and I still miss him badly 40 years after his passing. A World War II vet who was part of the D-Day invasion and a New York City corrections officer, he was a kind and thoughtful man who likely would have kicked my butt if I’d ever suggested I was thinking about following in his career path.
He made it clear he was working that job so I could get a good education and have other choices. He also loved reading my early newspaper stories.
While the sadness of his being gone is forever, I also know how blessed we are to be watching Dave, our daughter Katie and our son Dan as they’ve grown into parenthood.
Watching your kids become parents is an amazing and unparalleled experience.
Sure, it’s great to be grandparents. I’m rooting for more grandkids. (Did I mention our youngest daughter Megan got married last month?)
And yes, all that stuff we heard about the joys of being a grandparent without the responsibilities of being a parent is pretty much true.
But watching our adult children become terrific parents is also very special.
Our awesome daughter Katie is raising two superstar girls, now nearly 8 and 6. They live in Montgomery County, so we see them in person more frequently than the other grandchildren. They visit one or two weekends a month.
One of the few benefits of the pandemic was when they came to live with us for about four months last spring so Mary and I could help with the girls while Katie worked her job and the girls attended school remotely. It was so cool being with them every day.
To see our 2-year-old twin grandsons in North Carolina interact with Dave and his wife Sarah and to watch how smart and happy they are and how much they obviously can’t get enough of their parents is really something.
Thanks to FaceTime, we get to see them each weekend. My favorite part of those chats is to just sit back and watch them all.
The same thing goes for watching our younger son Dan and his wife Maggie so quickly embracing being parents to our most recent grandson, who was born in New Jersey in December. We FaceTime with them weekly too, and it puts smiles on our faces that last the rest of the day.
If I had my druthers, they’d all be just a quick drive away or, better yet, live around the corner.
But I shouldn’t be greedy. My cup is overflowing and I know my dad is taking it all in.
Happy Father’s Day!
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