There’s a group of men that meet at my workplace twice a month.  Their purpose:  a fatherhood committee.  They discuss the importance of fatherhood and what they can do to improve it in our community.  Apparently, there are a bunch of men out there who aren’t good fathers [you probably knew that].  One of our workplace initiatives deals with kids who have a parent who’s incarcerated.  As in jail or prison.  We recently received an application from a family that desired a mentor for one of their children.  How’d they answer the question regarding the child’s father?  

“He’s locked up,”  written in big print in the right margin.

So, on a day to day basis, I hear a lot about not.so.good.dads.  I think we’ve almost made it so that if your dad and mom are married, he has a job, and he doesn’t abuse you, you’ve got it pretty good.  Which in itself is quite sad.  There’s so much more potential to be something better.

Which is why I’m writing this entry.  It’s Father’s Day and I’m thankful for my dad.  I know I don’t say it enough, much less tell him enough.  So, I’m writing it today for all the world to see.  [Okay, most of the world won’t see this, and much of the world can’t read English, but. . . . you get the point.]

My dad was a good father in 1968 [the year of my birth] and is a good dad today, 43 years later.  Not just because he’s never spent a night in jail, but because he’s done more than keep the “good dad checklist”.  

I have a few {special} items in my room that I’d never part with.  One of them is an extremely worn t-shirt my dad purchased for me at the 1978 World Series.  He went with some friends and brought it back for me. Another is a necklace he gave me one year for Valentine’s Day.  

My daughter Allie modeling the shirt and necklace.

Through the years my dad has bought me a lot.  The usual stuff:  ice cream cones, clothing items, piano lessons.  Yet, I keep these two items because they, though not highly valuable in a worldly sense, mean a bunch to me.  In 1978 I was a Dodger fan, and I knew my dad loved baseball.  Despite the fact that he really didn’t like the Dodgers all that much, I realized at a young age that going to a World Series game was a dream come true for him.  So, in a small way, I’ll always have a piece of that dream come true in my dresser drawer.  The necklace signifies my dad’s love for me.  Every Valentine’s Day he gave not only my mom, but also my sister and I something.  Sometimes a box of candy, sometimes flowers.  But always something that helped me realize he cherished us as girls.  I knew to look for that quality in a husband.  Not necessarily someone who lavished me with expensive gifts, but someone who wanted to show he thought I was special.  

My dad and I.

I’d love to meet my dad in St. Louis today for a Cardinals game.  Or buy him and my mom a cabin on a lake.  Since neither are going to happen, today I wish my dad a very happy Father’s Day.  And send a big thank you.  For never getting thrown in jail, for spending approximately $1.2 million dollars to raise me [perhaps a slight exaggeration], and most of all, for being the solid, stable, rock that a girl needs.

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