Of all of the things that God has bestowed upon me, there is one gift that I have enjoyed more than any other.
Being a father was that one gift that has been something that I have never taken lightly, because it was the one gift that came with great responsibility, and at times, enormous burden. But more than anything in the world, it also came with great joy and happiness. And how glad I am that I accepted those challenges that came with both, the role and the title.
Yes. The rewards were (and still are) worth every drop of sweat that I have expended over the years, worrying that I would make a mistake or two, or that something would happen to those little children that I helped create. Things are never perfect and my years as a father were not perfect, either. I know where I failed, at least I think I do. But, as I look at my deficiencies and reflect on my performance as a dad, I also see that I did a lot of things right.
I could write a book. But let's suffice it to say that I didn't have a cushy childhood. I had it a lot better than most. And of that, there is no doubt in my mind. Nothing was handed to me, I inherited nothing, I won nothing. I worked for everything that I own. And although, by many standards it isn't much, I am today, among some of the richest men in the entire world.
My youngest child, my son, graduates high school today and I will probably cry at the ceremony, as I see him walk up to that stage and get that diploma. So that will be the end of my hard-nosed reputation in the community. Now, people will know that I am no Red Foreman (the dad in That 70s Show), who is my TV character hero. My reputation will be be shot.
But I do not care. In the end, it will be most therapeutic.
Because I have done the one thing that so many people have hoped to do, but couldn't. I have done the one thing that many should have done, yet failed to do. And, I have done the one thing that many have had the honor and privilege to do, before me.
I have raised a son.
He has responded, this is his day, and I am very glad in it.