I wasn’t the easiest child to raise. I know that much. I don’t think that I was the most difficult either but I am sure that I had my moments where my parents thought so. My mom was the nurturer . . . tiptoeing downstairs in the evening after a big blowup in our house to reassure me that all was ok. For my father, a big-hearted emotional and sentimental guy, I know it was much harder to get over those fights. I know this because I am him . . . he is me. I understand more about him and I today than I ever could back then. Today is my day (Father’s Day), but it’s really his . . .
While I know that I’ve given him many days of stress and anxiety, I hope in the balance of things that I have given him more reasons to be proud than shame or nervous. I haven’t always been perfect or behaved right but I hope that in the end he is proud of the person that I’ve become. These are tough words to write because only he knows whether I’ve become that man/person that he wanted when he raised me. So tough to know . . .
Growing up, we weren’t rich but we lacked for nothing. My father made sure that we travelled — if not by plane, than by car. We didn’t stay in suites, or have multiple rooms . . . we shared one. He wanted to make sure that we saw the country and he did.
He wanted me to have pride in being Jewish, to know my faith. While not as religious as he probably had hoped, a more proud Jew than I is hard to find.
He wanted me to marry a good woman, one who would love and protect me. I married my wife, Karen. My rock.
He wanted me to be a good father and to give my children, a good home and a good life. I’m working on those things, trying to learn from his lessons and his ways. I’m doing the best that I can.
In the end, that is my testament to my father. He always strived to do the best he could! I believe that he did the best he could with me, a tough to train, rebellious son.
Today is his day. His day to remember his father, Leo Rockhind. His day to be respected and honored. And the best way that I can think of to honor and respect him is so share with them these thoughts and feelings and words:
Dad, I am proud to call you my father. I will always be here for you as you were there for your father. You did the very best that you could with me. I will continue to try to make you proud. Happy Father’s Day! I love you!