So much of the way that I see myself, stems from two very important guys:
My Dad and my Son.
They never had the opportunity to meet each other. I know that my Dad would have worshiped the ground that Alexander walked on, and that my son would have had idolized and adored his Grandpa Gene.
But my Dad died before Alexander was born, so they never met.
And yet they are connected.
Today is my Dad's birthday - our family always made a big deal about that; always celebrated it, in conjunction with ringing in the summer season. Alexander's birthday is about a week later and has, for Francine and I, been a similar type of special celebration of a wonderful new season in our lives -- and thus, as June ends and July begins, I am filled with strong thoughts about how I am a better person for my relationship with these two males who define me.
|Dad and me in the boat on one of my earliest fishing trips|
Alexander and I are heading on a boy's trip next week. It's going to be a road trip with lots of exploring and, of course, fishing as a central activity. He has expressed a desire to go fishing; my Dad was the most avid fisherman I ever knew. Taking Alexander for his first fishing experience is going to be fun, a little bittersweet, but certainly a wonderful memory for the two of us. I have spoken to him many times about my own experiences fishing with my Dad, but I'm sure, when we're out on the water, I'll conjure up other memories for him of other memories and stories that will come to mind. (Fishing, inherently, goes hand in hand with tales) Who knows, it might even become a tradition, the way my taking the first week of July off every year to spend some concentrated time specifically with Alexander has been a tradition ever since his first birthday.
|Alexander and I BBQing in Levack|
And so, on my Dad's birthday, I think a lot about the two men who make me a better man, a better person.
And I'm extremely thankful for both of them.