Sunday, June 20, 2010

In Every Medium, Dads Rule the Day

While my own dad might be out of range of a phone call, you can find plenty of things about dads on this Father's Day no matter where you look:
  • Newspapers. The Dallas Morning News' Jeffrey Weiss remembers his father:
    ow I finally understand the words of the traditional Jewish mourners' prayer: "May his memory be a blessing." Among those most blessed memories are ones about how he firmly set my moral compass. Not that he was perfect – he was messy, not particularly tactful and had a grumpy bark that was always worse than his bite. But in a world filled with bad examples, he was my single best and shining good example.

    He had been an honor student, a teenage steelworker, a young lawyer, a decorated soldier, a successful merchant. A devoted youngest son, loyal brother and loving husband. But in his final days, the role he talked about most was "father." "I tried to be a good daddy," he said.

    That he was.

  • Magazines. Harlan Coben* of Parade** remembers his dad as well:
    So here’s the uplifting part: It’s okay to feel this pain. In fact, when you’ve been as lucky as I was in the father department, it would be an outrage not to cry. You can’t have an up without a down, a right without a left, a back without a front—or a happy without a sad. This is the price you pay for having a great father. You get the wonder, the joy, the tender moments—and you get the tears at the end, too.

    My father, Carl Gerald Coben, is worth the tears. I hope that one day, to my children, I’ll be worth them, too. And if your father is worth them, let him know.

  • Websites. From the Power Line blog, the story of a father who used his body as a human shield to protect his daughter when tornadoes rolled through Minnesota last week, making the ultimate sacrifice in the process.
But it's not all about bittersweet remembrance, of course; many of us still have our fathers, and some of us are lucky enough to consider that a plus. As I noted above, Dad's out of earshot right now (which is hard to do with all of today's communications options); he and Mom are in Nova Scotia, so the best I could do was send an email greeting. (Why, oh why did Apple have to discontinue the iCards a few years ago? They were the only e-cards that didn't have bad animations, cheesy music, and virtually no chance of being some sort of scam.)

While Dad and I may have had our differences over the years, there's no doubt in my mind that today, he stands tall as an example of a truly good man, one whose accomplishments--not the flashy things, but in everyday life--I can only hope to approximate.

Happy Father's Day, Dad--to you and all the other dads out there.

*I had to do a bit of research to realize that Harlan Coben, author, is not the same guy as Harlan Cohen, advice columnist. I thought it was impossible that I'd been reading Cohen's name wrong all that time that he was in the local paper.

** (Obscure Family Guy reference alert) Sorry, Stewie, but I do read Parade Magazine.

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