Good morning dad and happy father’s day. You have been gone for a very long time now; some 55 years to be exact. When you were still with us, as a child I did not get to know you very well. Perhaps our time together was very limited because there were lots of siblings, and you had lots of responsibility in caring and providing for all of us. Thank you for all your hard work by keeping us fed, clothed, and warm in winter. O dad, I’m so sorry that you did not live a long life. You never got to see me and your other children grow up to finish school and move on to marriage and careers of our own.
Nevertheless dad, I feel that you gave to us a very strong foundation relative to the work ethic and human relations. You lived long enough to teach us the basic lessons of right and wrong, and you stayed with mom until death, showing us the enduring value of family. And by the way, thanks for marrying such a wonderful lady to be our mother.
I must say concerning mother, there were times I felt you mistreated her, but she was strong and refused to allow you to go too far. Indeed, she was not a pushover. I suspect that this side of mother sometimes surprised you. That is to say that she both deserved and commanded respect from you. I am certain that you were the better for it, because she never allowed herself to be an enabler of bad behavior.
Finally dad, a few additional words of thanks. Thank you for the large and strong swing set that you had built for us. It was enjoyed by us and all the kids in the neighborhood at a time when we were forbidden the use of the public playground. Thank you for teaching me how to tie my shoes and for showing me the value of keeping them clean. I shall never forget the day on a sunny afternoon that you taught me how to drive your truck. It was the joy of my life. That day, it was just you and me returning from a trip through the countryside, selling fresh green peas from your garden.