Sunday, June 19, 2016

My first Father's Day without my father

Over the years, I have written and spoken about the importance of fathers in our lives.  It's one of those topics I get passionate about.
The statistics speak for themselves, as my friend and author Rick Johnson has pointed over the years with his books and seminars.  The National Center for Fathering puts numbers behind the talk:
As supported by the data below, children from fatherless homes are more likely to be poor, become involved in drug and alcohol abuse, drop out of school, and suffer from health and emotional problems. Boys are more likely to become involved in crime, and girls are more likely to become pregnant as teens. 
You can read a lot more here
It's fair to say that many of our social problems are related to the absence of a responsible man in the kids' lives.   
My second reason for being an advocate of the importance of fathers is my own father.  He was not a hero, in the sense that a military band played at his funeral.  He was not well known, in the sense that The New York Times wrote an obituary when he died.   
He was just an honest man who put everything on the line so that his kids would grow up in freedom in the U.S. 
He always taught us how to treat women by the way he treated our mother. 
He had great lines that he would strategically drop into our lives.  I remember this one: "Every woman is someone's mother, sister, or daughter.  So treat them like you would want your mother, daughter and sister to be treated."  I don't know if he invented that, but it is profound.
My father died last December.  He spent the last year of his life fighting pain and eating through a tube in his stomach.  It was not fun, and we are sure that he's in a better place now. 
Nevertheless, we miss him a lot, especially on Father's Day.  I miss the political and baseball stories.  One of his favorite baseball stories was about Willie Mays and Brooks Robinson playing in the old Cuban winter league.
I miss that I won't be buying another chess book this weekend.  My father loved chess.  He picked it up when he was in Cuba, staying away from the secret police picking up so-called "counter-revolutionaries".
So enjoy and respect your father.  You are going to miss him a lot the first Father's Day that he is not with you.  Happy Father's Day to all of the AT family.
P.S. You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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