To Dad from Your Son
(Orange County, CA)
There is a special bond that a father has with his son. That bond builds strength over the time and events that each of us are fortunate enough to share together in our lives.
I am privileged, honored, and extremely lucky to be the only son to my father XXXXX. (Name with-held for privacy reasons). As I reflect over the years that we shared together, he was a great Dad.
He always lead by example, and taught me numerous life lessons of what it takes to become a man:
- Take care of, protect, and be the provider for your family, and always give them unconditional love;
- Work hard, and rewards will always follow;
- Show respect and courtesy to others;
- Trust in your instinct, as it usually gives you the right answer;
- Always strive to do your best, no matter what you are doing;
- Be honest and loyal to your friends;
- Don't ever be afraid to make mistakes, just make sure you always learn from them;
- Have an opinion, but make sure it is thought through so you don't sound like an idiot;
- It's OK to dream big, just make sure you maintain a sense of reality;
- Being stupid or ignorant is never an excuse;
- Spend wisely, but it is fine to treat yourself on occasion;
- Being polite and using your manners will always get you far;
- Smile, find humor, and try to laugh often;
- Don't blame others. Accept the responsibilities and consequences of your actions;
- Respect nature and the planet, and admire what God has created;
- Be positive, supportive, and always give encouragement;
- Share with others who are less fortunate, and give without asking anything in return;
- It's just as easy to be nice as it is to be an Asshole. Remember, people don't like Assholes;
- Watch your language;
- Be prepared;
- Always be nice to the Accounting Department, or your paycheck may mysteriously disappear;
- It's never OK to lie, cheat or steal, especially when doing your taxes;
- Be brave, confident, and strong in your convictions;
- Always arrive on time. That is an easy way to show courtesy and respect;
- Aim to do the right thing, and resist the temptation when you know it is wrong;
- Set a positive example so it may be imitated by others;
- Always stay truthful to your word;
- Immerse yourself and respect the world's different cultures, religions, traditions, and people;
- Use deodorant and brush your teeth, or you will never have a girlfriend;
- And lastly, listen to your Mother. She is always right.
My Dad would always be there to give advise if I asked for it, and taught me how to do many things. Guy-kinda things.
How to use a power tool, tie a knot, sharpen a knife, bait a hook, catch a baseball, build a fire, pitch a tent, gut a fish, drive a nail, fold an airplane, plant a tree, grill a steak, read the stars, mix a cocktail, bluff a poker hand, and other things that I look back now and think hey, wait a minute, that thing you taught me to do eventually on my own is actually disguised as child labor: how to wash the car, mow the grass, sweep sidewalks, prune the shrubs, change the oil, take out the trash, shine a pair of shoes.
These are things that Fathers pass down to their sons, so xxxxx (my son), you can blame and thank Grandpa for doing those things now at home.
There were things that he shared or said to me and my sisters when we was young that I would later come to learn and respect: things like listening to classical music, the art of being patient, thinking things through before you react; shutting the front door because we don't live in a barn; correctly reading a racing form.
My father always loved the thrill of thoroughbred horse racing, going to the track, and following the ponies. I can remember that during racing season, in the morning you would always find him dressed in a tie and finely pressed short sleeved dress shirt and ready for work, sitting at the kitchen counter, having a cup of coffee and toast, and reading the back of the paper to see who won, or which jockey was riding which horse that day. He loved doing that. A special thank you needs to be recognized to American Pharaoh; my father got his wish fulfilled to finally see another Triple Crown winner before he passed away.
He also loved to fish. I will always remember and cherish the truly special times that we spent together in some of the most remote and beautiful locations in the world, chasing schools of tuna or dorado, or trolling for marlin. Cracking a beer at dawn to celebrate sun slicing through the horizon, with the anticipation of finding fish, and then working together to fight them and bringing them on the boat were great times that I will never forget.
Some days we didn't catch anything, but that really didn't matter. When we did, we would always joke on who it was that caught the bigger fish, or who caught the most.
Now that you have passed Dad, I can imagine that there are a lot of fish now celebrating that they get to continue swimming with their friends rather that being hooked on the end of your line.
I realize that it was not the pride that Dad had seeing (or was that letting) his son catch bigger or more fish, but that it was the loads of fun we had doing what we love, but most importantly, doing it together as Father and Son.
Thank you Dad for all that you taught me. I am so very proud to be your son. I love you, and will miss you dearly...
Much love always-
Your beloved son David.