Today is time to remember what makes Dads special

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 17, 2006

Some stories are not that hard to tell once you overcome the often-difficult task of knowing where to begin.

I think the importance of Father’s Day may be one of those — at least for me.

Since nothing else seems to present itself, I guess I will start at the end, which in this case is today.

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad for all that you did for me, for all that you shared and all that you have sacrificed. And this also goes out to all fathers who have done the same for their own sons or loved ones.

Today should be a day each of us takes some time to reflect on the value of family and what it means.

In the hustle and bustle of our lives we often take these little moments for granted and forget that it is the little idiosyncrasies of our mothers and fathers that make family so unique.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed and today may be the best chance to sit down with your dad and tell him exactly what he means to you.

It may not be easy (open expression of emotion never is for most men). In fact, for some like myself it can at times be like visiting the dentist for a double root canal without the Novocain.

But, as most important things in life that are truly worth doing, it will offer far more rewards than we could ever have imagined.

Take a second to reflect on a memory or a moment that sticks with you, a moment that captures who your dad is and what he has done to help shape your life.

I did just that, which brings us back to the beginning — or a lot closer anyway.

Growing up on a 42-acre farm in Gallia County, the outdoors were simply a part of life but only now do I realize all the hard work that came with that.

Our farmhouse was atop a massive rolling hill, with electricity but very few of the other amenities that we all take for granted now.

I can tell you first hand what it is like to trudge through a foot of snow to use the outhouse. (No fun, at all, with lots of frigid parts!)

Of course, Mom had her share of hardships involved with living on a farm like this, but it was Dad who faced the worst of it.

Dad trudged down the snow-covered hillside to get to the road and the truck to go to the store.

Dad split firewood all day long to make sure there was plenty of fuel to keep the stove burning all night.

Dad walked more than a half-mile from the natural spring on our property, all while lugging gallons of drinking water.

Dad ripped his shirt off like the Incredible Hulk to use as a tourniquet to stop his bleeding son who didn’t listen and played too close to broken glass. (Yep, that would be me!)

Dad would sit up late all those Christmas Eves meticulously applying decals to the latest Star Wars spaceship or G.I. Joe vehicle so that it would be ready to go that special morning.

All these and more are why I will take today to say “Thanks, Dad, for all these reasons and more.”

So, Happy Father’s Day to all fathers, and thank you for going that extra mile from the beginning to end.

Michael Caldwell is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. To reach him, call (740) 532-1445 ext. 24 or by e-mail at mike.caldwell@iron