A couple of years ago Larry Ellis made a comment about his father and my father, two men of the same generation, quiet heroes, who without fanfare or drama worked to provide for their families. Larry’s father has since passed; I’m fortunate that my father is still around. I wrote the following tribute shortly after Larry’s comment. I’ve published it before, and probably will again.
Most are not leaders of nations.
Most are not creators of wealth.
Most are not icons of sports or entertainment.
Their names will not be written in the annals of history.
But without them, we would be nothing.
Their fathers worked with pride as pipe-fitters and welders and electricians.
Their fathers mined coal and dug ditches and toiled with dignity.
They did what was necessary to provide food and shelter and clothes.
They did what was necessary to provide hope for a better tomorrow.
Tomorrow came, and it was better,
and the sons and daughters of the fathers went to school
and became teachers and writers and lawyers and engineers.
They became fathers and mothers themselves
and likewise provided for their families.
They did all of this
without the need for attention,
without the need for adulation,
without the need for self-aggrandizement.
Fathers persevere and sacrifice.
They do what needs to be done.
They are good and honorable.
No, not all fathers.
Some give up.
It’s not about gender roles.
Sometimes the mother is the father.
Sometimes she is both.
It’s not about being the breadwinner.
It’s about being strong for the family.
It’s about providing direction to those who wander
and encouragement to those who strive.
Now they rest,
their work less strenuous,
their lives less demanding,
and they sit quietly,
content to let others lead.
They have lived simply.
They have lived nobly.
They have given their all.
They are fathers.
copyright 2019, joseph e bird
June 21, 2020 at 8:35 am
You certainly should post this again. It is well written and right on target.
Happy Father’s Day to your dad!
June 21, 2020 at 8:40 am
Thanks. I’ll pass your well-wishes along.
June 21, 2020 at 9:22 am
Yes Joe a really good poem.
He looks so happy in that picture.
June 21, 2020 at 10:28 am
June 21, 2020 at 10:42 am
We were both very fortunate. Thanks for this.
June 21, 2020 at 10:57 am
Yes we were.
June 22, 2020 at 7:19 am
Well that’s lovely and so true
June 22, 2020 at 7:55 am
Thank you, Julie.
LikeLiked by 1 person
June 19, 2022 at 4:03 pm
Joe – I love your words about fathers – I was blessed with a great dad that was gone too soon. I wanted to have him longer in my life. Thank you.
June 19, 2022 at 4:17 pm
Thank you, April.