Part of a parent’s job is to make us feel safe. Comforted. Accepted. Loved. Hopefully, this gives us the ability to venture out into the big bad world with little fear.
You did that for me. Thank you.
When I try to visualize your face, I see your smile and your twinkling blue eyes — like we’re sharing a secret joke no one else would understand. “See? Life is funny!” you chuckle. “Isn’t it ridiculous? Let’s laugh about it. It’s gonna be all right, Punky.”
You helped me to always find the humor in life. Thank you.
When I think of the person you were, I remember a quiet, intelligent, loving man who stood up to do the right thing. You always wanted to help others. No matter where their life’s path had taken them or their circumstances. You weren’t scared, you just did it. Actions speak louder than words. You weren’t looking for praise or attention. You did it because it was the right thing to do. You once told me, “Who knows, one day they might turn around and help you when you need it most.” What you put out there will come back to you times a hundred.
You taught me to reach out and help others. Thank you.
You gave me the power of having an open mind, to see all sides to things. You allowed me to discover my beliefs on my own, to keep questioning and learning while always practicing respect for another point of view. You taught me that being gentle to myself and others takes strength. Kindness is more important than being right.
You gave me the gift of compassion, trust and faith. Thank you.
Compassion for others starts within. If you’re not kind to yourself, you can’t be kind to others. You will never resolve negativity you feel with others in your life — anger, resentment, jealousy — until you resolve those issues within your own mind, your own soul. The ability to love myself is crucial if I want to fully love and be open to others in my life.
You showed me to trust in myself. To love myself. Thank you.
Today would have been your 75th birthday. And I know that wherever you are, in my mind you’re still chuckling, calling me Punky, and telling me it will be all right. And I know it will.
Thank you for everything you taught me.
I am the person I am today, I am the mom I am today, because of you.
Happy birthday, Dad.