My father will turn 80 in December. The man who coached me, taught me, scolded me, read to me, supported me and worked to support me is now grayed, stooped, slowed and living in a place where others cut the grass, weed the flower beds and shovel the snow in the winter. A body which used to pitch batting practice, prune trees, shoot baskets, throw passes, build houses, bait hooks, repair plumbing and harvest a garden now sits.
My father was a vibrant part of my life. He sacrificed in order that I might have. He coached on nights when I now know he would've liked to have sat. Yet, my father never sat back--he was involved in my life at all levels, whether coaching, becoming a leader of the PTA, leading the church youth group, or taking Mom and me on trips in the summer.
Today, on this day when we honor our fathers, I say "thank you" to mine. It took becoming a father to appreciate all that my Dad did for me. And, even though he now sits, I still see that active man who made a huge difference in my life and, I now know, a difference in the lives of others touched along the way.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.