We are extremely grateful for everything our fathers and father-figures have taught us. Today, we say “thank you” to them in celebration of Father’s Day.
My dad, Mark, is responsible for my love of sports. He took me to countless Kansas City Royals games growing up and never missed one of my softball games. My dad is the DIY King. There isn’t a home project he’s met yet that he can’t master. I didn’t exactly inherit this trait, but I always have someone to call to help me through a project! My dad is the picture of consistency. You can always count on him. To this day, I look forward to his Sunday evening calls. This Sunday, I’ll be the one calling him. 😊 Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I’m lucky to have a wonderful dad, father-in-law, grandfather, amazing uncles, brother-in-laws, and friends in my life who are all amazing fathers and father figures!
I often say to people — “I basically am my Dad. I look like him, I act like him, I care like him.” And I do so proudly. A female version, but many of our core values, likes and mannerisms are the same. And I feel so very lucky to be his kid. My dad was my biggest cheerleader — in sports and in life. He’d drive four hours each direction to watch me play basketball in college — even if he had a business trip the following day. Juggling family and work was not easy as a traveling salesman but he did his best to be there for everyone. Dad taught me the value of nurturing friendships and treating everyone you meet as if they were a friend. The ultimate “people person” I would watch him introduce himself to the waiter at the restaurant, the cashier at the grocery store, or the guy who pumped our gas. He had the same friends when he was 8 years old as he did when he was 80 years old — even though they all lived miles apart. My dad loved to travel. And he is responsible for my extreme wanderlust. And I know wherever I venture to next — he’ll be right there with me, loving every second of it. I miss him in the flesh, but he’s embedded in my heart.
My favorite story from my childhood is one my dad tells about when I was a baby. As babies do, I woke up crying in the middle of the night, and it was my dad’s turn to rock me back to sleep. He was exhausted from a long work week, so as he sat in the rocking chair, he ended up putting himself to sleep instead. He’d just begun to snore when he heard a light thump, and he woke up to find me lying at his feet. As he’d fallen asleep, I’d rolled down his legs and onto the floor, and instead of crying, I looked up at him disapprovingly. He couldn’t help but laugh. I love this story because it showcases everything that I love about my dad. He is a dedicated father, and he gives his all to those he cares about. When I was in school, he would spend hours editing my essays and forcing me to strive for perfection. At the time, I would moan and groan and wish I could be finished with my work, but now I look back at those times with fondness. He taught me how to be a good writer and put in the time to create something incredible, and for that I will be forever grateful. My dad also taught me how to laugh at the bizarre situations that life throws at us. We’re both anxious individuals, but his ability to find the humor in everything is a trait that I treasure in the both of us.
My dad is the funniest person I know, and I always say he reminds me of Chandler Bing from Friends because he emulates the same goofy and fun-loving personality the character had in the show. He knows exactly how to make me laugh and cheer me up when I’m sad. Growing up, my dad was always there to help me when I needed it. He proof-read my essays, practiced with me in preparation for volleyball tryouts, (cautiously) taught me how to drive, and made shave ice whenever my friends would come over. Other important life lessons he taught me include patience, compassion, and appreciation for a good label maker.
My grandpa on my mom’s side, 할아버지 (grandfather in Korean), was a huge part of my childhood. He and my grandma lived very close to us growing up, so when my parents were both working, they would pick me up from school and take me to whatever after-school activity I had that day. 할아버지 taught me how to skateboard, play basketball, and always had snacks stocked in his pantry. Even though I didn’t learn Korean growing up, and his English was limited, we could still communicate with each other by spending time together, which meant a lot to me.
My grandpa on my dad’s side lives in Honolulu, so I only saw him once a year growing up, but when we would visit for Christmas, I had the best time staying at his house. I have fond memories of playing with his dog, Rudy, and waking up to the smell of turkey bacon being cooked in the morning. I admire how kind, caring, and nurturing he is. This year, we are planning to visit him for Christmas, and I couldn’t be more excited!
My dad, king of the pun, is a true adventurer since birth and inspired my love of travel. He was born in Cairo, Egypt, moving to Durban in South Africa at the age of 10. He attended school in Somerset, UK, before heading to University at McGill in Montreal, Canada. He was vice captain of the rugby team there, and soon joined the Canadian Air Force, before eventually moving to LA and starting a company making slot machines. He moved back to the UK starting another company, Elan, making Chip programming machines. Finally, in his retirement he has moved to a tiny island in the English Channel, Guernsey, where he enjoys the picturesque scenery, and companionship of my loving Mother.
My grandfather or “Boumpa” as we called him, was a really funny and charismatic man. He was a celebrated documentary filmmaker. During WWII, whilst serving, he recorded film footage which is invaluable in recording history. His story-telling was second to none and always had us either rolling on the floor with laughter or astounded with sheer amazement! He’s sadly passed away, but I am very grateful the fun and playfulness he always shared.
My brother is a loving and doting father of two. He has excelled to the top of his game in the VR world and uses all his life experiences in a way where he can learn from them. I am grateful for his loyalty and support and his off-the-wall sense of humor, which will sneak its way into any interaction.
When I was little my Dad used to volunteer with Catholic Charities. He would sometimes take me with him as he would go to meet with folks throughout town. I always remember no matter whose home or apartment we went into he would treat them with such respect and kindness, that it seemed like they were all long lost friends, even those he was meeting them for the first time. It really stuck with me to treat everyone you meet with the same openness and kindness as you would someone you’ve known forever, regardless of who they are or where they’ve come from.
My Dad was a big influence in my love of sports. The brave guy would take his little Red Sox fan to the Bronx to watch the Yankees and endure the heckles for me 😊. He taught me to love golf (he was born in Scotland so that was a natural for him), college basketball, baseball, football and pretty much anything on Wide World of Sports. He was also a huge music lover and instilled that in me as well.
I was also blessed with an amazing father-in-law. Daddio — as he was known to his family — had a saying “God’s got a plan, you just have to get out of the way.” That advice has served me well time and again both professionally and personally. Not to mention Daddio was a fabulous cook (he taught me how to make a mean Corned Beef and Cabbage), poet, and always made sure there was lots of laughter, and wine, at every family gathering.
Finally, my brothers, cousins, and nephews all are such sweet, smart, and supportive men who display such great values and have passed those down to their own children. It’s such a joy to watch these men make an impact on all of our lives.
How will you celebrate Father’s Day?