A Father’s Gift

Adapted from a poem I wrote for my dad in 1998 in honor of his 60th birthday; Here’s to celebrating fathers past and present . . .

Either the years grow kinder or my heart becomes softer

As the light in the eyes that watch you fades from child-like wonder into the gentler gaze of a woman.

For the differences—and indeed, the distances—between us don’t seem as vast.

The man I watch today is far removed from the man I remember.

No longer taskmaster, disciplinarian, timekeeper or conservative banker,

No, those are long gone, replaced by a sometimes crusty and colorful, yet lovable gent

Whose greatest pleasure is derived from seeing his family solid, safe, secure.

I pay tribute to that man, the man you’ve always been, the man I’m just now seeing, though I’ve watched for decades.

For the tough times, the disappointing times, the times you haven’t understood . . .

I’m truly sorry for the part I played.

For your ageless wisdom, the values you hold dear, and the ways you teach me to live and love life . . .

Thank you.

I celebrate you. I respect you. I am blessed because of you.

Most of all, for now and for always,

I love you, Dad, with all my heart.

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