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The Sacrifices of Fathers

Updated on March 27, 2013

What Makes a Good Dad?

When it comes to parenthood, let’s face it: dads get a bad rap. After all, they aren’t the ones who go through the physical and emotional changes a woman does during pregnancy. It isn’t their bodies that are stretched out of proportion, sometimes never to return to that pre-pregnancy figure. They aren’t at risk for incurring diabetes, hypertension, or the myriad of other medical complications that can occur during the gestation period. Nor are their emotions affected by their hormones, like a seesaw on a crowded playground. Undoubtedly, mothers earn the right to wave the sacrifice banner. So, what makes a dad more than mediocre and, as in the Western movies of long ago, ‘one of the good guys’?

I’ve pondered this question, as Father’s Day approaches, knowing that I have been fortunate to know some of the ‘good guys’ along the way, my own father included. What makes a dad stand out from the crowd is exactly what makes a mom a ‘cut above’ the rest- the sacrifices he makes for his family.

I don’t mean the ‘everyday-going-to-work’ sacrifice that most dads engage in. All things being equal, it is expected that an adult male will provide for his family. No stereotyping here, for I do believe in equal opportunity. I know several men who are stay-at-home dads, and it works well for their households. What I am referring to are the unexpected acts of forfeit that bring more cohesiveness to the family unit.

Positive Role Models Wanted: Dead or Alive!

Source

One Man Can Make a Difference

Immoral, destructive role models abound in our world. Pick up any newspaper, or storyline on television and radio, and you will hear yet one more report of the narcissistic personalities that have run amuck in our society. They spill their sick sewage across everything they touch, contaminating others directly or indirectly. When these toxic individuals are the leaders of our political communities, churches and even our families, there are grave repercussions. Where does a child-the next generation, turn to for an example of a positive role model?

Some people never know who they are or what they want from life. They meander along, without a compass, without a sense of being grounded. This is a mistake for dads if they expect a different outcome from their offspring. Children really do incorporate what they observe. The role model that a father presents will be the action that their children will repeat.

One of my earliest examples of what it means to stay true to goals was my father’s belief in education. Knowing at a very young age that he wanted a vocational trade, and pursuing his dream, despite the pressures of his father, he was a maverick in his family. My grandfather, the proprietor of a Detroit diesel service station, expected my father to drop out of high school to help in the shop. When my father refused to do so, my grandfather was disappointed with him for a long time. Certainly, he helped pump gas and assisted his dad during the year before his apprenticeship began but, his heart was not in it and he knew this. He stood by his conviction that the easy choice of following the family business was not necessarily the right one for him. Not for the truth of who he was. He sacrificed the approval of his father for the start of his own independence. In that, he built character, which was later displayed to his children throughout our lives.

In the years that followed he carved a niche for himself as an excellent craftsman; a journeyman who worked for over 25 years in the trade before another calling, that of teacher, presented itself. I recall the impression it made on me, as a young teen, knowing that my dad had started college at an age when most people were enjoying the comfort of their careers. And, though only sixteen, I recognized that this man, whom I had assumed I knew, was far more complex than what I was aware of. I was witnessing the evolution of a man.

Let the World be your Classroom

Source

The Value of Education

Higher education was expected in our family, based on the path that my father set before us. Even greater were the deeper messages: to stay open to the flow of life; to not restrict yourself to the preconditions of stereotypical age requirements set by others; to always maintain a curiosity for what is beyond the horizon.


Think Big

Source

A Thirst for Adventure

It was this very curiosity of his, which prompted this otherwise frugal man, to give up some money in exchange for a subscription to the renowned National Geographic Magazine . Memories of brightly colored photographs displaying people in far off lands, exotic animals, and excursions under the sea, come to my mind. An avid reader, Dad brought his new found information to family dinner discussions on a regular basis. In the height of his enthusiasm he began his campaign to move to Australia.

I was fourteen and the third of his six children. We were decidedly divided in our vote as to whether we should pack up and explore this far away land, or stay firmly rooted in Detroit. It gave for a lively forum with many a night of pondering what life would be like ‘down under’.

This relatively unexplored territory was the ‘new America’, Dad said, as he persistently attempted to convince my mother that it was the right move to make. His heart was there, as he sat in his evening chair turning the pages of any book he could find on the subject, but in the end, mom’s vote won out. As the head of the household, he could have taken any number of directions regarding what he wanted. An immature, more selfish man might have packed everyone up and headed off…or even abandoned his family for a solo trip. But, the sacrifice of dad’s Australian adventure is an example of doing what is best for the group-not for the individual.

Maintaining a Joyful Spirit

In our household of nine, Dad’s paycheck was stretched very thin. The joke of having a ‘champagne taste on a beer budget’ was coined for my parents. When finances are precarious, daily sacrifices are made in the general running of the home. What our parents could not do financially for us, they made up for in other ways.

Dad loved kids. We knew that and the neighbors surrounding our home knew it. Ours was the house that they sent their own kids to play at because my dad didn’t care about the image of a pristine lawn, or clean sidewalks. We played hopscotch, football, baseball and mumblety-peg, without the fear that we would be told to “keep-off-the-grass”.

Ours was the backyard with the kids, the animals and the multitudes of trees to climb. And in the winter, when the Midwestern temperatures dropped below freezing, and the snow piled in drifts along fences and houses, Dad would meticulously stomp and hose it. While we kids were tucked warmly in bed, he would work diligently past midnight, to give us something we cherished,-a skating rink of our own.

That is sacrifice.


Dad with Grandkids and Great Grandkids

Shared Time Off

Dad had one week off from work each year. He spent it taking six unruly kids, solo, into the Northern woodlands for a seven day camping trip. It was an annual event. He allowed my mother an unencumbered hiatus from us. As she recharged her batteries, he maneuvered fish hooks out of scalps, removed leeches from barefoot waders, started some fires and put out others, all the while teaching us to respect and appreciate nature.

That is sacrifice.

A new addition to the family: Papa and J, 1993

Sticking it out to the end...

Positive attitude goes a long way in life. Many a night we could hear our parents argue and, undoubtedly Dad had a temper. But, he maintained a joyful spirit through the hardships and the pain, the tumultuous teen years of his children, the death of one son, the relocation to another state, and the life as a grandparent adopting and raising his grandson at age 64.

That is sacrifice.

The White Hat

As the old Western ends, the cowboy in the white hat rides off into the sunset. That cowboy is the dad who stands up for his family in ways too numerous to count. He is the one who knows who he is and where he is going…the one who has the character and will to do right by his children, creating strong morals through the examples he models. He’s one of the good guys.


Life is but a Dream...

 

A favorite photo, which exemplifies his attitude about life:

Dad floating down the ‘Lazy River’, age: 77. 

 

  Happy Father’s Day to all of the good guys!

 

 

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    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 3 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Kevin, thank you for reading the hub and your lovely comments. I appreciate it. Thanks for the votes also. Enjoy your day.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 years ago

      There must have been someone with a title close to yours recently, I did not know that you wrote yours last year. Anyway, it was sensational and I only wish that all fathers had those same qualities. I just adored it and how he treated his family members.

      I voted it up U/A/B/I.

      Kevin

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Maria-what a beautiful compliment you've left here, thank you. The fact that you feel it's 'evergreen' is exciting in itself-those don't come very easily, do they? Well, here's hoping it does make that longevity.

      Hi Linda-Yes, dads do 'rock'! Both of my parents are deceased, as well, but I try to honor my brothers and son-in-laws with a greeting card to give them kudos for all they do. Thanks for your comments.

      Hi Vellur-My parents were both quite unique parents in many ways and I miss them both very much. Thanks for your comments and votes. :)

      Hi Mary-Lucky us to have had great dads. Thanks for your comments and votes, Mary. Enjoy the weekend.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 4 years ago from New York

      It is always heartwarming to read anything that gives praise to a parent. Your father sounds remarkable.. I can't imagine that camping trip each year!

      I was blessed with a wonderful father and you tribute touches all Dads. What a pleasure to read.

      Voted up, awesome, and beautiful.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      Your dad must have been a great person who had great beliefs. A wonderful tribute that touched my heart. A beautiful, heart warming hub.Voted up awesome.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Dad's rock. Father's Day deserves as much recognition as Mother's Day. Actually we should celebrate our parents. Both of my parents have passed on, but I still have wonderful memories to cherish. Awesome photos and tribute to dads!

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 4 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Denise,

      This is an evergreen piece showing such love and devotion to your Dad.

      He instilled such beautiful values in you. The sacrifices he made were awesome...especially giving your dear Mom a week to recharge every year.

      Thank you for sharing so I could discover more of why you are the lovely lady you are.

      Voted UP and UABI. Hugs, Maria

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      How wonderful, Michelle! Thanks for saying how your own dad was special! Take care. :)

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      The way mine made a difference to me was through music. A wonderful tribute! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi LTM-Thanks for your comments about this hub. Obviously, this one, as well as the one I wrote about mom, are very special to me. My husband was one of the good guys as well. His father died when he was 9 or 10-old enough to have solid memories of him, but too young not to miss him and feel he was missing out as he grew up without him. Fortunately, he had many positive male role models that helped guide him. He was a great (step)dad to my two daughters and it was a heartbreak for all of us when John died of cancer in '05. Thanks for reading it and, of course, your votes.

    • LongTimeMother profile image

      LongTimeMother 4 years ago from Australia

      I wish I had a dad like yours, Denise!

      My husband is one of the good guys and I've had the joy of watching him make the effort to be the best father he possibly can be. There are already lots of good stories the kids tell about their dad.

      But I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that his own father died when he was young, and how much is just genetic.

      I have voted this hub up across the board. I think the greatest effect it will have on people, even those without great dads, is the reassurance that good guys do exist ... and making the effort to be a good dad pays off in your children's lives!

      Thanks, Denise.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Shampa-thank you, sincerely, for your wonderful comments. I will be happy to read your hubs when I have returned from my spiritual retreat. Thank you again.

    • shampa sadhya profile image

      Shampa Sadhya 5 years ago from NEW DELHI, INDIA

      I am speechless. Simply an extremely beautiful piece of tribute to your father and all the good guys. Voted up and awesome! You have highlighted the sacrifices of a father brilliantly and I think it is badly needed too because being children of doting fathers we are a bit emotionally partial towards our loving mothers. We are a little unjustified, I feel.

      Recently, I wrote two hubs as a tribute to the fathers. Definitely I would like to have your comment on them, if you feel like.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Docmo-what a beautiful thing to say. Thank you...your words are sweet music to my ears. I miss my dad immensly; especially now that I have acquired the challenges of finishing the job he and mom started-raising my nephew. He's a senior in high school now, so there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With God's will, and my determination, he will be graduating about this time next summer. I may still have a few hairs on my head that have not turned gray! Oh, thank goodness for beauticians! haha.

      Teaches-thank you for your feedback. It is amazing that there is such a strong thread of teaching in my family. My father, my brother, cousins, my daughter...and I was 'supposed' to also be a teacher, but life has a way of unfolding that will take us in directions unexpected. I suppose, in the end, I have been a 'teacher' all of my life-first with my own children, then as a dance instructor and owner of a dance studio, and now with the many patients that cross my path. Thanks for reading.

      Fennelseed-thank you so much for reading, commenting and 'getting the message'. I appreciate it.

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 5 years ago from Australia

      Denise you cover so much territory in this beautiful tribute to your father.

      I agree with you that there is far too much emphasis put on those men (and women) who flaunt their disrespectful behaviour and are glorified by the media, tainting the perceptions of our children.

      I know of many fathers who pack up the family and disrupt their lives on a whim, without any consideration for the impact this has, particularly on young lives.

      Women do seem to be the ones who endure the sacrifices in families and the father who provides the solid foundation for the family is often overlooked. For this very reason your tribute to your father who was such a solid and loving influence in your life is very special and very important.

      This is a well constructed and loving hub that puts into context the importance of fathers and the high esteem held for your dear father. Thank you for sharing.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      You have made me remember how much my father valued education. As with yours, he instilled a love for it in my life. Thanks for sharing this personal view from your life. The photos are such a special touch.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 5 years ago from UK

      Ah Denise, your dad was a wonderful. smiling, caring spirit. I am glad you spoke up for us dads. Your empathy and understanding for the often misunderstood fatherhood makes you our champion. We salute you. Your Dad would be so proud.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Aww, thanks Vellur. I miss dad immensly. He passed in 2008.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      Your dad rocks, he is a wonderful person. Great tribute.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Express. I appreciate you stopping by.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 5 years ago from East Coast

      The sacrifices and lengths they go to just to make us safe and happy. As the saying goes, lead by example and it sounds like you have a very solid foundation. Awesome hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Bill...I once read a Father's Day card that said, "Thanks for being one of the good guys" They are a blessing because the impact is multi-generational. Glad you had a moment to read it. I suppose I'll be reposting it when June rolls around. :)

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Beautiful Denise! My own dad was a complicated man and yet so simple in his beliefs and core values. So much of what I am today was given to me by him and I will be forever grateful.

      You are right of course; the good ones get a bad rap because of the bad ones. The value of a good father is greatly underappreciated. I loved this hub and I celebrate the spirit in which it was written.

      bill

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi wilderness-thanks for reading and adding your thoughts about the subject. My dad was a cool guy who always had his kids best interests at heart. Anyone who moves out of the city because of its urban sprawl affecting his family and moves them to a healthier area to live, as you have done, belongs in that category as well.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      A great tribute to fathers and the sacrifices they make. As a father myself, and now a grandfather, I have to say that it isn't all sacrifice, though. Lots of the time that sacrifice is just a little extra work that gives great pleasure and enjoyment later.

      Making the skating rink, for instance. Yes, Dad is out there at midnight making preparations, but the enjoyment the next day of seeing his kids have so much fun is the payoff. That is worth far more than the little bit of discomfort the night before and that "sacrifice" just kind of disappears into the mists of time. What is remembered and cherished is the results of the sacrifice; children playing and having fun.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Danette, I just got back from MI/retreat so I will be sure to check it out. This was one of my very first hubs and you prob weren't reading them at that time. I miss them too. Talk with you soon.

    • Danette Watt profile image

      Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

      Hey Dee, I linked this hub to one I just did: Slow down for turtles. I wonder why I hadn't read this before?? It sure brought back a lot of memories, I've been missing them both lately. They had their faults but taught us a lot of the important things in life - importance of education, love of adventure and travel and most definitely the importance of not caring what people think of you and following your own heart and dreams.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Ruby, thanks for reading. I was fortunate with both of my parents. And,now I am 'finishing' the job they started with raising my nephew. I promise to get ;over to your work soon...have been immersed in the rest of the saga here re: my work conflict. Maybe I need to write a hub about the latest...

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is such a beautiful and inspiring story. I could feel the love through your words. Thank you for sharing. You were surely blessed.

      Smiles

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      ahorseback-thank you for revisiting the hub and your kind comments. I will cherish them, for sure. :)

      Death has a way, at times, of sifting out the bad and keeping the good. Perhaps it is a way of hanging onto the memories sans pain and bitterness.

      My father passed away in 2008. I have now acquired his adopted son, J, (my nephew), whom he and mom had raised at 10 months old. J had a very different relationship with my father than what I and my siblings had. Dad was retired and as his grampa, 'babied' him. He didn't show the harshness to him that we experienced growing up. So, we talk about Papa, but I also have the huge task of getting this boy ready for being on his own. Not easy.

      Sometimes parenting changes when one becomes a grandparent because of the absence of stress in providing food and shelter.

      Thanks for your comments and another opportunity for a walk down memory lane here. :)

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 6 years ago

      Hi Denise, I just read this again and am touched by such great memories. This is a perfect tribute. And is worthy of hub of the year! I don't know about you but the fact that we all tend to forget bad memories and only remember the good ones...is good enough for me! Sounds like a great "Dad" that you have.:-}

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi WM-Yes, by all means that is the truth. Thanks for visiting the site and commenting. :) Dad's day is right around the corner and I will miss him. :(

    • workingmomwm profile image

      Mishael Austin Witty 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      Hi, Denise. Beautiful tribute to your dad. I had to come over and see it. :-) How blessed we are to have people like this in our lives!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Gail. My parents had their faults, like we all do. But, in the end I have to say they were really cool people and parents. I really miss them, especially when I go through work stress as I have lately. Sometimes, you just want your mommy and daddy, no matter how old, LOL But, life goes on and here we are - all grown up with grown kids of our own.

      Thanks for your lovely comments.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 6 years ago from South Carolina

      Loved this hub and also the family photos. Your ending definition of a good dad was beautiful and I hope many discover this hub on Father's Day 2011: "It is the dad who stands up for his family in ways too numerous to count. He is the one who knows who he is and where he is going…the one who has the character and will to do right by his children, creating strong morals through the examples he models.

      There can be no greater tribute to a dad than to say that he modeled strong morals.

      Thanks for sharing this. I'm glad I asked if you'd written any hubs about your father. This hub was really special.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Bail up! How are you? Nice to see you and thanks for visiting the hub and commenting. Three cheers to all the 'good guy dads'. :)

    • Bail Up ! profile image

      Bail Up ! 6 years ago

      What a great tribute to your dad and dad's across the world that sacrifice themselves for their families. Beautifully written hub.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Writeronline-so glad you wrote your 'good guy' dad hub. It is great. Thanks for reading this one. :)

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      Thanks for inviting me to read this, Denise. I enjoyed it very much. It's nice to have had my own experience with one of the good guys; and to have written about it, just as you've done. Cheers.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Mr. Smith-Thank YOU for stopping to read it. Yes, I'm glad you get it. A great big pat on the back and hug to you. Happy early Father's Day!

    • Mr. Smith profile image

      Mr. Smith 6 years ago from California

      I get it, Denise. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hey Dale-thanks for reading the hub and commenting. Yes, I think in many ways my dad was very cool. But, I think your dad was pretty cool too, at least the bit I know of him.

    • profile image

      dale 6 years ago

      Even though you didn't get to Australia, the dream he conveyed, the sense of adventure, the "why not?" attitude, the family discussions, the sense of possibility - "we could actually choose to do this" - were all gifts to you. What a cool dude.

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 6 years ago

      They sure are , I come from a large family and when we get together , which isn't often , it's as if we were together a hours before, the closeness never leaves, so natural!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
      Author

      Denise Handlon 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi ahorseback, thanks for stopping by and commenting. I miss both my parents very much. But, the last two years of his life I was in NC and it was a wonderful period of time together. He died suddenly of a heart attack, and although he was in his late 70's he was full of energy, vigor and raising my nephew on his own. It was quite a shock. Relationships are interesting, aren't they?

    • ahorseback profile image

      ahorseback 6 years ago

      Nothing like the love of a daughters devotion thank you , this is so nice, Denise.

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      Hi Denise, I always enjoy meeting veterans and fellow Ohioans, I have met many since living here. Nice to meet you as well.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
      Author

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks Milt, nice to meet you. I appreciate your comments. I agree regarding the usual 'father as noncustodial parent'. The courts are most definitately biased, even today. You have many interesting hub titles. I'm looking forward to reading some of them. :) (BTW-I notice you were originally from OH- I'm a native of MI).

    • mquee profile image

      mquee 7 years ago from Columbia, SC

      This is a great hub and it is so nice to see a father acknowledged. I have been a single parent, raising two daughters who are now adults. I received custody after going through a divorce, this was almost unheard of for males in the '70s.

      For all of those out there who don't take care of their children or lax in their responsiblities, reading this article should be required. Thanks for sharing.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Denise, anything is possible and hubs can always be edited LOL Thank you for allowing me to link back to your hub. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image
      Author

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      :) Billy, to you and all the dads out there, "you are most welcome". I think the guys have it a lot harder than the gals when it comes to recognition of parenthood. thanks for stopping to read the piece.

    • billyaustindillon profile image

      billyaustindillon 7 years ago

      Denise what a beautiful tribute to your dad. I agree on his advice - education, work hard don't give up and don't stop dreaming all things I try to pass onto to my boys and what I have learnt from my Dad and Granddad. I never forget how special a gift being a dad is. Thanks for a beautiful reminder of fatherhood.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Wow, I didn't know you could do that after the fact...

      Thanks, I didn't expect you to do that, Ripplemaker. That was sweet. I'm still learning so much, and reading other peoples Hub tips has been immensly helpful.

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Denise, thank you for telling me about your hub. There are so many hubs to go through and often times a lot of wonderful hubs are missed. I love your hub about your Dad..and yes, I will place a link of this in my hub. On my way now. :) Hugs and blessings to you :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image
      Author

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Hi Nellieanna, thanks for stopping in and reading the hub. I agree. Each person who has a dad that they felt offered that love knows the difference between the good and the bad...Thanks for your feedback.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 7 years ago from TEXAS

      Even though I didn't get to read it in a more timely way - I'm glad to get to now! It's timely for any day or time! Yours, too, was a dad for all seasons! Thank you for sharing him and reminding us of the many traits which help define a good dad. But we know that it's the indefinable quality of the man's love for us and fairness to all which sets our dad apart from any other!

    • Denise Handlon profile image
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      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      ladyjane1 and kaltopsyd: thanks for stopping in to read the hub and for you comments. :)

    • kaltopsyd profile image

      kaltopsyd 7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Great Hub! I really enjoyed reading that. I never knew my father but that doesn't bias my view on good fathers. I agree that dads get less recognition for their sacrifices. I do know a couple of stay-at-home dads who are extremely dedicated to their families.

      Thanks for sharing your pictures and your experiences with us!

    • ladyjane1 profile image

      ladyjane1 7 years ago from Texas

      Awesome and beautiful hub a great tribute to a wonderful family. Cheers.

    • Denise Handlon profile image
      Author

      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the feedback. I do feel very blessed with having had a man in my life like my dad, whom I learned so much from. I do cherish the memories.

      Stephhicks68-thanks for the comments. I'm glad you investigated it. What a compliment to say it brought tears to your eyes.

      Agvulpes: I too, wonder about what could have been a very different life. However, I still have hopes of getting to your country at some point. From what I read on your hubpage profile, no doubt they will be singing your praises when 'that time' comes, LOL.

      Liz-you are such a great support for me. Thanks for taking the moment to read the hub. :)

      Chuck: wow, you are a great example to your sons. The boys are testimony to that. I do understand the thoughts behind the men who left their babies behind. I feel that way about Daryl. The choices he made that resulted in his missing out of the girls lives. Choices.

      Thanks, brother, for the time and comments.

    • profile image

      Chuck 7 years ago

      Dee,

      This is nice and the photos are priceless! The greatest "sacrifice" for me as a dad is recognizing that what I do impacts my two sons. Trying to be a role model for them is tough some times.

      I always think of Stephen and Mark's birthfathers on this day. I wish I could meet them and tell them what fine young men their sons are becoming. They are each a wonderful gift that their birthfathers have missed the joy of receiving.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      I agree with steph, this is an awesome Hub and a great tribute to your father. I hope that someone is able to write about me in the same light? (not yet though lol)

      Funny how things turn out, who knows what might have happened if you had come to Australia?

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      Just wonderful. Brings tears to my eyes! What a special tribute you have here. I've rated it as awesome!

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      Liz 7 years ago

      Dee,

      That was a beautiful tribute to your dad. I didn't know him all that well, but I do remember him as being a kind and very likeable person. I wish I had had a dad like that, you are a very lucky person. Cherish those memories, they are something no one can ever take away.

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      Denise Handlon 7 years ago from North Carolina

      equealla: you are sweet. My dad was very unique in many ways. I learned A lot from him and miss him very much. I'm thankful we had the reunion (Lazy River) when we did. He died the following spring, seven months after the photo was taken. He had turned 78 that January.

      Thanks for stopping to read and comment.

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      equealla 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      What a great dad you had. It mirrors in his child!