Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day

image from a father is at the center of who I am today.  Most of us will not leave this life having made significant contributions to the arts and humanity, or have invented a major scientific or technological breakthrough.  Darn few of us will leave behind the kind of wealth to make an important impact on society. 

But those of us who are lucky enough to be parents will, if all goes well, leave our children behind to make their impacts.  Like ripples on a still pond after you throw a stone in, their effects will be far broader than our small efforts.

Being a father is more important that anything I can thank of.  Teaching discipline without being harsh.  Encoraging success without work or activites becoming all-consuming.  Helping the little ones learn that respect for everyone is important.  Developing a balanced sense of self, family and community.

Having great kids helps.  I sure know it helped my dad!  I have been gifted with two young people who humble me. I am a dance dad and a baseball dad and I love every minute of it! They have no idea how happy I am when family friends and even strangers tell me that John and Emma are smart, happy, children who value fairness and enjoy life. They've made my journey as a father far easier than I know it is for others.

I've spent the weekend in the company of some of the best fathers I know at Tabernacle's 17th Annual Pinelands Classic.  Whether it's coaching the young men (and women), dragging and lining fields, or working the concession stand grills, these men have it figured out. I am lucky to have so many friends who put parenting first.

After we get moving a bit, we are headed back to Delco to celebrate our annual Father's Day Crab Fest.  There, I will again be surrounded by some of the best fathers I know.  People who have taught me that blood is thicker than water and that family comes first in all things. It will be a lot of work, but a lot of fun and that's why we have done some form of Crab Fest for four generations now.

A special thank you to the fathers who are serving our country both at home and abroad.  The sacrifices that you and your families have endured for the benfit of the many do not go unnoticed. The police offices, fire fighters and first responders who leave the comfort of their homes each day not knowing if they will kiss their children again also deserve 'most-favored father' status today.  I can't imagine doing it and all I can say is thank you.

Finally, thank you dad.  I appreciate all you have done and continue to do for me, for Carin and Matt, and for your grandchildren.  I love you.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Goodbye Marianne

image from youngest aunt left us this morning.  She was one of the sweetest people I have ever known.  My mom's baby sister, Marianne was dedicated to her family, and was lucky enough to meet her grandson in her final months.  She was the person in the world who most reminded me of my grandmother and in some ways I am feeling a double loss this morning, remembering a cold January morning as well.

While she lived most of her life in Atlanta, Marianne grew up in Essington, Delaware County.  She visited often enough that my children knew her and her children well.  She has been to our house at Christmas, baked cookies with them, laughed over a glass of Pinot Grigio after they were tucked away.

I will always remember her in Cape May Point last summer, clearly weakened, but still strong enough to enjoy being with everyone.  She was planning her recovery, trying to find way to help people, and talking about visiting us again this summer.

You'll be missed Marianne.  I am happy for you that the fight is over but so sad for your children, Mason and the rest of us that your kind heart has left us for somewhere easier.  Say hi to the rest of the gang from Saude Avenue.  I am sure they are happy to see you again.