For most of my life, I have always held a very specific view about a part of life. This view was not of my own conviction but that of the world around me. It is most often a subliminal message taught consciously or not in society as a whole. But, it is also spewed from the lips of many that subscribe to its teachings.
A person legacy is what he/she obtains in life. That it is the total sum of the whole of us. With a focus on education, building a career, obtaining wealth, and pursuing the finer things in life, we believe that this is how we build our legacy, our footprints for others to follow.
This past Fathers Day I had an epiphany that redefined my awareness as a father and parent. In essence, it has given me the understanding of what my legacy truly is and how I acquired it.
A Fathers Legacy Transcends Common Conjecture
For Fathers Day, my Son presented me with a card. This is not unusual, but as it turned out, what he wrote to me was profound.
I chose not to read it in his presence but to wait until I was alone. I am glad that I had done so…
Here are the words my son wrote to me just inside the card:
Thank you for everything you are my role model. You may not think highly of yourself, but you are the strongest person I know. You’ve been through so much that I couldn’t imagine dealing with. The fact that you never gave up on life and yourself means so much to me. You are my greatest influence, I wouldn’t be who I am without you.
Because of you, I have realized what really matters in life; most importantly, what matters most to me in my personal life. Because of you I have grown wiser and stronger mentally. I am more mentally mature than the majority of those around me.
You say that I have nothing to show for in my life, honestly, that doesn’t make me think less of you EVER; not once in my life. You have wisdom, intelligence, and the ability to enlighten others for the better. You have things that most people will never have or obtain. Something that can never be stripped from you.
Sure, it is nice to have achievements, but you can pass it down to someone, it won’t hold any value. Your wisdom, that you can pass on and on. That can bring value to someone’s life and change it forever, like you did mine. I love you to death. You are the greatest father I could ever ask for. I’d be lost without you.
Thank you for everything.
From Brandyn on behalf of;
Me, Bryan, and Mom…and Rick (the family cat).
We love you,
Happy Fathers Day!”
The father who does not teach his son his duties is equally guilty with the son who neglects them. ~ Confucius
My whole person began to feel heavy. My face quivered, and my eyes grew clouded with tears. I tried my best to keep my composer, but my countenance failed. I cried in the deepest way with joy and a sense of worthiness.
I think the last time I cried with such passion was when I lost my parents nearly 30 years ago.
I had never considered with any great reflection just how much of an influence my role as a father has been in my Sons life. I don’t think that I gave him the credit for looking at life in a profound and philosophical way. I made an assumption based on empty observations. I realized now that he is no longer a child. He has grown into a fine young man who possesses a kind heart and a sharp mind.
A Fathers legacy is not necessarily nestled in the physical things he accomplishes. the greatest contribution any person can give to the world is children that know and understand what love is. How to give and receive it. But most importantly, to recognizes the things that truly matter in life. These are the intangibles that are very often overlooked for various reasons and substituted with superficial nonsense. In essence, propaganda of the materialistic kind. A hedonistic pursuit of wealth, fame, and happiness rested on the premise of vanity.
My Sons words changed everything I thought I knew about my presence not only in his life but in the lives of others as well.
Tis true that I am with many regrets in my life to be certain. Nothing will change the history of my errors. Not a bad person by any stretch of the imagination, but misguided. Foolish seems to be quite appropriate an adjective.
His words cleanse me. I feel redeemed and set anew. I am a proper gentleman. I am a father who has discovered his true legacy!
His words will rest well with me all the days to come.