Sunday, June 6, 2010

Father's Day 2010

As I remind Bill to buy his father a freaking Father's Day card before it's July, I think of how different our dads are. Bill's dad has four sons. My dad has three daughters. Bill's dad became a father at 22; mine at 30.

Though they live only a few hundred miles apart -- Bill's near Cleveland, mine near St Louis -- I struggle to think of two men more different. Both know the value of hard work, and both are the cornerstone of the respective families. Happy Father's Day to the men in this world who have devoted the time and patience to nurturing the young people in their lives.

My dad retired last year, something I'm very pleased to report. His life isn't one I'd describe as easy; after enlisting in the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday with hopes of deploying to Vietnam, he worked construction before finding a niche in high-risk coal mining in southern Illinois. 19 years later, the mines closed and he was left wondering how to support a family of 5.

When I was 20, dad drove me from Iowa to Washington DC to spend a summer studying economics at Georgetown, an opportunity he would never have had in a million years. Since his retirement, he has visited me in northern Virginia to renovate my condo; taken weeks to volunteer by my side during the Conservative Political Action Conference; and always been available when tensions were high.

Happy Father's Day, dad.

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