Friday , July 19 2024

Father’s Day – Celebrating Dad, the Most Important Influence in My Life

It is Father’s Day, and I am celebrating my Dad, who was the most important influence in my life. This is my 12th Father’s Day not being able to celebrate with him, but he is always with me. Almost every decision I make throughout any given day, Dad is somehow with me and helping me to know what to do.

A Hard Act to Follow

Dad in Paris 1945

From a very young age, I looked up to him as a hero. One of the Greatest Generation, he fought in World War II and was part of the overthrowing of one of the greatest evils the world has ever known. He then came home and joined the NYPD, and after serving his city for 20 years, he retired and became a successful businessman. Talk about an act that was hard to follow.

Growing up he was always there for me. He showed me how to throw a ball, to lift weights, and eat healthy when I was working out. Dad taught me how to ride a bike, how to use tools and do carpentry, repair electrical outlets, and put in a new toilet or sink. These practical things have helped as I became a father and had to make repairs in my home.

Necessary Guidance

When I started driving and going out with my friends, he gently warned me of the dangers out there. He gave me enough room to have fun, but he also grounded me in the reality of what can happen, and I always heard his voice in my head when I was confronted with a situation where I had to make a difficult choice. Thankfully, that always lead me to take the appropriate action to keep myself safe.

Allowed Me to Go My Own Way

While he wanted me to become a lawyer and go into his business to work with him, I decided to take a different path. When I tried to become an actor for two years, he questioned it but never tried to deter me from pursuing it. When a full-time teaching job became available, I asked for advice and he felt that I gave acting a chance, but it was time to make some money. I agreed with him.

As a father I have tried to remember how he guided me, but it is the toughest job I have ever had. I want to rise to his level of excellence as a father, but it is not aways easy. I have made mistakes, and maybe he made them too, but I never noticed them. 

The Importance of Dad

I do not want to think what my life would have been like without my father, but I can say that I might not even been here to write this article. So many times, when I could have gone down the wrong path, his advice led me in the right direction. There is no way I could have succeeded without his guidance and support.

If you are lucky enough to still have your father, please see him and celebrate with him. If he is too far away, FaceTime him or make a phone call and share some memories. You are so fortunate to still have this man in your life.

The Other Side Understood

I have known a few people who had problems with their fathers. Others never even knew their dads. I understand and appreciate what they went through, and the trouble that came into their lives because of that glaring void they had.

There is overwhelming evidence about the importance of a father in children’s lives. For those who have had a bad paternal experience, I can only hope that you will think objectively about fathers having a very vital and positive influence in many children’s lives. When it is time for you to become a father, I hope you can rise to the call to be a significant person in your children’s lives.     

I Miss You, Dad

Dad in His Retirement Years

It has been so long since I walked down the street holding my father’s hand, and I remember the feeling of security knowing he was there with me. When I walked with my children holding their hands, I felt like my Dad must have felt, an instinct to care for them and keep them safe.

Now, my kids are too big for me to hold their hands, and I take most of my walks by myself, but I am not alone. Dad is there right alongside of me – like he has always been – and I feel the same sense of being protected by him.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! Thank you for everything you taught me, for your wisdom guides me now and for the rest of my life.

About Victor Lana

Victor Lana's stories, articles, and poems have been published in literary magazines and online. His new novel, 'Unicorn: A Love Story,' is available as an e-book and in print.

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