It is difficult to believe that today, two years have passed since my father had taken his own life. Receiving that gut wrenching call at such an early hour in the morning is as painful now as it was then. I vividly recall wondering against whom I will compare being a father. Granted my dad wasn’t the perfect parent by any imagination, however he as any parent does, had his good points. And naturally I looked to him in many ways, not just to see what to do, but just as much to see what not to do. My parents had divorced when I was young, and they each had times of strong influence in my life. At one point however that influence seemed to just come to a halt.
As devastating as my father’s sudden death was, it has made me realize that the role of a father (or either parent for that matter) is not one that is temporary. The role of a parent, with the guidance they provide their children is not something that comes and goes with the wind. A parent, whether they realize it or not, regardless of age are a role model. A parent’s role begins the day a child enters this world, and continues forever, gradually changing along the way. From teaching a child to ride a bike, to drive a car, to comparing parenting stories when your children have children, a parent’s role never ends, but evolves. As parents grow they too must evolve with their children’s needs. This I believe.
Parents who feel that when children reach a certain age, they no longer need support are solely mistaken. Not providing such support results in missing some of life’s most cherished moments. Children, regardless of age, can always use the caring guidance of a parent. Children may not always clearly like such input, but deep down inside, they always appreciate it. This I believe.
As I put my three boys to bed each night, there is the fleeting few seconds as they gently fall off to sleep. There, in the absence of yelling, fighting and general chaos that comes with three small boys, I find yet one more confirmation of the importance of my lifelong commitment to being a parent. Tomorrow will be a new day, and again my role will slightly evolve. I too will change with it and welcome each day as it comes. This I believe.
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