So, yesterday I turned 54. I have always liked my birthday because it commemorates a number of notable events in history. For example, Yuri Gargarin was launched into space on April 12, 1961. Fort Sumter was fired on this day in 1861 to begin the American Civil War, and last, but not least I was born on this day as well.
While history will little recall my impact on human history I have learned that I can have an impact on those around me. As each of my sons has reached adulthood and married I have counseled them to be just a little bit better than I have been as a father. My father, who is nearly 87, was a good example to me, and I know he was a better father than his was. My father was raised during the depression, and was the son of immigrant parents; he was the first in his family to graduate from high school and later to graduate from college.
From him I learned to work hard and to provide for your family. My father is not perfect, but then again neither am I. I have always known my father loves me, but he never told me so until the night before I got married. He has not told me since, but he has been there for me when I had a child die, when I was diagnosed with leukemia and through a myriad of other hard things.
I hope in some small way I have been a better father to my children than he has been to his, not because I wish to be better than my dad, but because I wish to honor his legacy by showing him that I am grateful for what he taught me.
Recently, my dad and I drove together to see his newest great grandson. We were together in the truck for 10 hours each way and we talked the whole way. He spoke of his parents and of his marriage to my mom and a myriad of other things, and I never tired of listening. There will not be a formal memorial to my father, but he will always be treasured in my heart. And he has taught me the impact a righteous man can have, so thanks, Dad. May I always remember the lessons you have taught me. Maybe we all could take just a moment to thank those who have impacted us and just maybe, we could walk a little taller to honor them.