We asked you to post how your mom or dad had affected your life and/or fandom. These were almost impossible to choose from, by the way — just incredibly poignant stuff from our readers. You should take a few minutes to read them.
We ultimately decided on three of them, and you guys can vote on the winner: We have one on what it generally means to be a dad, a thank you to a mom and grandad, and a piece on a reader’s dad.
The three finalists are reprinted below with a poll following. Originally, I was going to run this through tonight, but I think I’ll extend voting through Monday night.
That said no matter who “wins,” you’re all winners to have such excellent parents and surrogates in your life and/or to be such a great parent yourself. Thank you for sharing, and thanks to our sponsor for rewarding your awesomeness.
Feel free to chime in with your Father’s Day plans or add a belated thanks to a special person in your life.
My Dad's the best because he didn't have to be.
FIrst off, when I say my Dad, I am referring to the person who was there for me, the one who taught me to be a good man first before everything else. He taught me how to be a good father, how to have humility, and how you can never give up. In December of 2011 my life changed forever.
In the span of 3 months I lost my Mother to breast cancer, my grandmother, and was medically retired from the Navy after 18 1/2 years, which anyone who knows will tell you it’s pretty rare to be retired medically after 18 years and only occurs for serious medical issues. I was majorly depressed, and wasn’t sure what I would do.
My Dad, even though he was reeling from my mothers death told me to do what I’ve always wanted. No more excuses. Life is too short, too frail to let failure be the final answer. He inspired me to go back to school and finish my Engineering degree, and just this past May finally complete my life long dream and graduate with my Masters from the Capstone.
It was his strength that allowed me to become the person I always wanted to be, and become the Father he was to me for my children. I can now tell them that they can achieve as long as they don’t allow failure to be the final answer. If I am half the man he is, I will be a better man than most,and the Father my children deserve. (Ed. Note: Excellent commencement picture there too!)
What I celebrate on Father's Day.
Being a father has changed my life, gotten me on a path of success, and has brought new meaning to life itself. My children have taught me more than anyone or anything in life.
The most important lesson that I have come to learn and appreciate the most was to stop being selfish like I was for so many years when I was single and even the first year or so of marriage to my wife. My three kids have given me a boost of energy that allows me to wake up each and every day after only a couple of hours of sleep, changing diapers in the middle of the night, holding them through nightmares, getting them a glass of milk to get them back to sleep, and conquer the day.
Everything I have accomplished and currently working towards is because of them and for them. My youngest daughter was born in 2010 when I was still in college at 27, mainly due to partying to much as a youngster in college. Her birth brought me to the realization that you need to accomplish more and appreciate the gifts given to me by the Lord, don’t take for granted each and every day, and work towards a future for this little girl so she can grow up and be successful while showing her a great upbringing that can afford her those things. It was that event that got me to apply to the University of Alabama and accomplish one of my dreams in life, to attend a big time SEC school.
After being accepted I moved my family to Tuscaloosa where we enjoyed some of the best years of our relationship and the best years of my life. We joined a church, got involved in the community, went to school to be an Accountant, and ended up having our second child during our stint in Tuscaloosa.
Going to the University of Alabama provided me with so many opportunities that it has allowed me to continue to learn and provide my family with a great life. The amount of pride I have for myself and my school is mainly due to the presence of my oldest daughter. In the four years since graduation we have had our third child, raised our children to say "Roll Tide" to any passing Alabama fan, and continue to express the importance of a good education.
Becoming a father put my life into prospective for me and gives me that much more appreciation towards my father and both of my grandpa’s as they loved me more than life itself. There are times our temper’s get the best out of us, but just waking up and kissing your kids on the head while they’re still asleep before you go to work puts everything on a different level as you realize that child depends on you to support them. Looking into their eyes and seeing their excitement as you walk into the door displays their innocence and happiness. It’s not the kids that should be celebrating me this weekend, it’s me that should be celebrating them for what they have done for me and the path they have helped send me down. My children have been my greatest gift, and it’s a legacy through them that I hope to leave of happiness, success, and respect.
If I was able to offer any advice to any father out there it would be to just love your kids and be there for them. All a child wants is a parent to hug them, talk with them, and love them. That’s not too much to ask for, especially with what they can teach us at even such a young age. Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s out there, and most importantly, Roll Tide.
Here's an entry.
My mom has always worked for everything. We had, well, not much after she divorced my idiot dad (more on that in a moment). We lived on food stamps. In the basement of a church. For six months. We lived in small apartments, a trailer in Louisiana, and various other underwhelming places for a good bit of my early childhood. But she worked.
Heck, it was almost the fourth grade before I knew about the middle class luxury that was cable. And seventh grade before we had it. But that didn’t matter. She always seemed to get me what I wanted, because kids are self-focused. I was no different. Always there no matter what, and gave me the freedom and space to learn on my own. I was a latch-key kid from the first grade on. She let me learn. She never complained.
To this day, now that she’s retired from a successful career that she started later in life, she asks if she can pay me back for the student loans I got at the Capstone. Nope, mom. You did more than enough. As for dad…
Let’s talk about surrogate dads. In my case, my grandfather. A former Marine (Korea). Former owner of two diners (the Dixie Bell). Former Sheriff of Madison County (including during the tornadoes in the 70s, where he inhaled poison ivy) and former member of Baxley’s Boys who investigated some gnarly civil rights cases in some of Alabama’s least proud times (including one you may have heard of on 16th Street in Birmingham). During my childhood, he worked five days a week in Mobile, drove 3.5 hours to the family cattle farm, worked there all weekend and drove back late Sunday night to go to work on Monday.
He did that for as long as I can remember. He taught me how to drive – a tractor then a truck. He taught me that working hard isn’t enough. You have to work smart. He taught me to shoot, rifle and pistol. He taught me how to reach into a cow and pull out a calf – don’t laugh, it’s crazy, disturbing, gross, and really happened – and saved both animals’ lives. He taught me to be a man of my word, and even though he also taught me to be a man of few words, that lesson didn’t stick. All of this he did while working seven days a week. Perhaps all of this, he did BY working seven days a week.
He’s been my canasta partner at the family table for going on 30 years soon. He’s 85 and a bored out of his mind – he only stopped doing PI work about five years ago. Thank God I still have my grandparents.
In any case, I would not be the person I am today without either of them. I’m a bonafide momma’s boy, sure. Only child, yada yada. But I can say with perfect clarity that I know what it means to work one’s way out of the ashes and succeed. Mom did it. My grandfather did it. I didn’t have to thanks to them, but thanks to them, I can.
There are no losers here — only winners — but select your favorite:
This poll is closed
BamaFan334 (what it means to be dad)