I lifted this idea from another writer. He wrote his father – after years of shirts, sweaters and ties for Father’s Day – told his kids, “I can buy my own clothes. Just write me a letter.”
Seemed like a good idea to me. My letter is more of a thank-you note. Probably the first one I’ve written in decades.
Here it is. It is in no way inclusive and in no particular order.
Thanks for teaching me to throw a baseball. I enjoyed playing catch with you in the yard. And it gave me years of enjoyment with my son.
Thanks for teaching me to ride a bike.
Thanks for giving me access to your tools and watching you fix things. I don’t know how many drains I’ve unclogged, refrigerators, fans, cars, broken cabinets, kids’s toys, flat tires, and dryers I’ve fixed since then.
Because of you I’ve been able to replace fan belts and headlights, change oil, unthaw frozen pipes, and fix lawn mowers that wouldn’t start.
Thanks for 23 years of free room and board and the time my wife, daughter and I stayed at your place after coming back from Texas.
Thanks for being a great grandfather. (Not a great-grand father yet for my part of the family.)
Thanks for the late night movies on Channel 19 out of Philadelphia and Charlie Chan, Vincent Price and Basil (Nigel?) Rathbone.
Thanks for the truck engine for my blown up Nissan truck, and the late night ride home from Maryland. (The friend I was with, Dan Connolly, couldn’t believe a father would get out of bed in the middle of the night to pick up an adult son.)
Thanks for all the money I borrowed and never repaid.
Thanks for making me a Cubs fan, again that has given me years of enjoyment with Joe. (I sincerely apologize for that summer in the 60s when I rooted for the Yankees. I think that was just youthful rebellion. I also apologize that your granddaughter is a Phillies fan. What can I say? She fell in love with a Phillies fan.)
Thanks for loving me more than the other kids. (I just threw that in in case anyone else reads this.)
Thanks for the down payments on the cars and motorcycles. Thanks for paying the insurance. (I have to thank mom for slipping me gas money.)
Thanks for making me mow the lawn, rake leaves, shovel snow and take out the garbage. I was able to make my kids do the same things without a shred of guilt.
Thanks for making me get a job. (See above entry.)
Thanks for treating your wife the way a husband should. I learned by example.
Thanks for treating your kids the way a father should treat his kids. (See above entry.)
Thanks for your sense of humor. You made me, and in turn my kids, classic smart asses. (God love ‘em.)
Thanks for teaching me to read. Nuff said.
Thanks for playing the radio in the car. I may have never heard of Buck Owens or Roy Orbison otherwise.
Thanks for teaching me to drive. It showed me the patience to teach my kids to drive. (Sorry about the flat tire and bent rim on the VW.)
Thanks for being a safety net at every turn in my life.
Thanks for sending my new wife to Colorado after basic training.
Thanks for being a great example of what a man, husband and father should be.
Thanks. Happy Father’s Day.