I wrote this the night before my father’s funeral in the year 2000 and read it at his graveside service. It really brings back wonderful memories of my father.
What is a Father ?
A father is the person who loves you the most, that is of course not counting your mother. A father is the person who you love the most, once again of course not counting your mother.
A father is the happiest when he finally gets his first son, although his daughter is closest to his heart. He even makes the doctor hold you upside down to make sure that you are really a boy…he is so excited! He’s that guy that buys you your first football and baseball mitt, even though you are only 4 days old.
He’s the guy that builds you up and finally tells you are old enough to finally cut the grass, knowing he’ll never have to cut it again himself. He is the guy that times how fast you run down the driveway and back to get the mail and tells you how many seconds it took and that you broke your old record…although he didn’t even have his watch on.
He’s the guy that picks you up at your first baseball practice and tells you how terrific you looked on the field although you had your glove on the wrong hand. He’s the guy that convinces your mother that you and he would be better off going to a baseball game together than going to your sister’s ballet recital. He’s the guy that goes to work at sun up and comes home late in the day exhausted…only to find you waiting for him by the mailbox with two baseball mitts and a ball in hand…and he tells you he hurried home just so he could play catch with you.
Your father is the one that spent millions on your private school education only hoping that they wouldn’t expel you for something you’ve done stupid before you could graduate. He’s the guy that gives you your first car…and hopes you don’t kill yourself in it. He’s the one that pretends not to see you when your friends let you out at the bottom of the driveway after having 20 beers…and you are only 18.
He’s the one who spends another million on your college education and hopes you don’t sell your books for beer money before exams. He’s the one who prays for you every night…that you graduate in 4 years.
He’s the guy who gives you a job in the summer and on the way home together doesn’t ask, “How was your day”. He knows that 20-minute power nap you are getting is more important because you have a date that night. He’s the guy who is happiest when you finally move out of the house, and he hugs your mother as you drive out of the driveway…and she is crying.
He’s the best man in your wedding…and maybe the proudest that day. He gives you all the great “fatherly advice”…why, because his father had given it to him and now it’s your turn. He’s the guy that loans you enough money to get your first home…then he tells you later that you don’t have to pay him back.
A father is the person who is always there for you, either rain or shine. But he realizes you have your own life now, but wants to be as much a part of it as you will let him.
Your father has always been the biggest, bravest and toughest person you have known…until he starts to get old…and frail. Then YOU realize that you are now the tough one and he is not. A father is the person who watches out for you as long as he can…no matter what, for 60 or 70 years. And then it finally comes to you…it’s time for you to watch out for him…for the rest of his life…no matter what.