1. He is married to my mom. My father's parents divorced when he was a young adult and so did my mother's parents. I guess divorce was finally easy to come by, so the grandparents were free to live their lives without the annoyance of a spouse. My parents got married young and almost non-Christian, certainly non-religious. Mom was twenty. They had five children. It could have been a disaster, but they became Catholic, and they stayed married. Now, they have five children married and active in the Catholic Church and twenty grandchildren, all baptized churchgoers. I think this is because my parents stayed married.
2. He went back to college. Dad was about 40 when he finished up his college degree. It was a good example for us kids to see him hitting the books. And then he was able to qualify for a job that he loved.
3. He is a man of action. He built a barn alone and battled poison oak. He is the go-to guy for mowing the lawn at Right-to-Life and you might see him serving the altar at daily Mass. He is a Knight of Columbus who doesn't have much use for the socialization on steak fry nights, but he will be there to help the Knights do stuff. On the occasion that he is visiting us, he will be the one taking my kids for a hike or swimming with them.
4. He read to us. As a kid we got through some of the classics- I especially remember Peter Pan. His, and Mom's, love for reading inspired the rest of us, and we are all good readers and happened to end up with advanced university degrees.
5. He preaches to the choir. Heaven help you if you come to Sunday family dinner- the extended family is in basic agreement about religion and politics, but Dad doesn't steer clear of these subjects. I can also 'thank' Gore and Bush for distracting the family from our mini-reunion with all that hanging chad talk.
6. He smoked outside. Dad's cigarette smoking (thankfully, the habit was painfully kicked long ago) started at a time when doctors recommended certain brands and James Dean, a blond Dad lookalike, was the movie star to emulate. So, it is no surprise that Dad smoked when I was a kid. But thanks Dad for never smoking inside. You took care of us even before the 'More You Know' celebrity ads told you to.
7. He is loyal. Yes, I think one St. Valentine's card to Mom was inscribed with the very romantic message- "A deal's a deal." But in today's age of drive-through divorces and fast food churches, I think this sentiment is very romantic- like a male version of Stand By Your Man.
Happy Father's Day, Dad!
May God grant you many blessed years in health and happiness
one of Dad's favorite places- waiting for you here, Dad!
find many more quick takes at Jen's conversiondiary.com