"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." ~Clarence Budington Kelland
I consider myself to be very blessed. Growing up, I had several strong male role models in my life. And, for that I am thankful. I think every little girl needs that. Through those male role models in their lives, they learn a multitude of things, strength, courage, faith, hard work, etc… They also learn how a man should treat, love and respect her. They give her the self confidence to not accept anything less. For me, I was blessed with 4 great male role models, my dad, my 2 step dads, and my grandfather. All 4 have taught me so much in life. And, for them, I am grateful. My grandfather is no longer with me. I still miss him every day. The gifts he taught me are kindness and compassion. He was the most compassionate man I ever knew. And from watching him, I learned to have compassion for others. My dad, well what can I say about my dad. He's nuts! But, in a good way. My dad is one of the funniest men I know. Through him, I've learned to find the humor in life; that laughter is the best medicine. I've learned not to take myself too serious. Other lesson's I learned from him is perseverance and patience. The most important lesson my dad taught me was to always have faith in Christ. My 1st step dad is the strongest and most intelligent man I know. Through him, I learned strength. I learned that knowledge truly is the key factor. He instilled a deep, lifelong, love of learning in me. I still love to be challenged with learning new things every day. My mother remarried 18 years ago; giving me a 4th strong male role model. He, too, is a lot like my grand father. He has the kindest and gentlest heart of any man I know. He has taught me the true meaning of the spirit of giving. He always gives of himself to anybody, regardless of the limitations placed on him. I am choosing to spend this Father's Day with him. His health is failing. And, my fear is that this could very well be the last one I spend with him. I pray that it isn't. Either way, I'll spend it with him and tell him how much I love him and all that he has meant to my life. There are many other lessons in life that I learned from them. But, I'm writing a blog, not a novel. The most important lessons all 4 have taught me is to love myself, love life, and to forgive. All 4 have kept me on that proverbial pedestal and given me their unconditional love, even when I made life a little tough on them at times. No matter what I did, they always loved me and forgave me. It's unfortunate that so many little girls go through life without a good, strong male role model. Me? I was blessed with 4 great ones! Because of them, I have never accepted anything less from a man than his absolute best. I've never let a man mistreat me. My 4 role models taught me that I deserved better than that. Now, I enjoy watching my girls learn these same lessons from their father, grandfather's, and uncles. They, too, are like me. They have been richly blessed with a lot of strong males in their lives. For that, I am tremendously thankful to each of you and all that you are in their lives. So, to all of the Father's in my life, my husband, father, step-father's, brother's-in-laws, uncle, and friends, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY! Thank you all for playing such an important role in all of our lives. I love you all!