How do you compensate a guy who goes every day to do work that brings someone else more money than himself so that he can earn just enough to pay a mortgage, a light bill, a car loan — or two — or three, and then prom dresses and sports equipment and emergency room bills and tuition and wedding expenses? How do you even say thanks?
If you still have your father, speak to him today and tell him, in whatever way the two of you can tolerate, that you love him. If your father has passed on, remember all the things you loved about him and smile.
Here are some of the best words written about fathers. Perhaps you’ll find yours described here:
“The father of a daughter is nothing but a high-class hostage. A father turns a stony face to his sons, berates them, shakes his antlers, paws the ground, snorts, runs them off into the underbrush, but when his daughter puts her arm over his shoulder and says, ‘Daddy, I need to ask you something,’ he is a pat of butter in a hot frying pan.”
— Garrison Keillor
“My father said, ‘Politics asks the question: Is it expedient? Vanity asks: Is it popular? But conscience asks: Is it right?’”
Dexter Scott King,
son of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”
— Mark Twain, “Old Times on the Mississippi,” Atlantic Monthly, 1874
“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.”
— Ruth E. Renkel
“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.”
— Charles Wadsworth
My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, “You’re tearing up the grass.”
“We’re not raising grass,” Dad would reply. “We’re raising boys.”
— Harmon Killebrew
Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later ... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life.
— Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“For his age, he’s wise
He’s got his mother’s eyes
There’s gladness in his heart
He’s young and he’s wild
My only prayer is, if I can’t be there
Lord, protect my child.”
— Bob Dylan, “Lord, Protect My Child,” 1983
Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope.
— Bill Cosby
“Did you plug the hole yet, Daddy?”
— Malia Obama