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 Texas : Features : Columns : Letters From North America :

Fatherís Day

by Peary Perry
Peary Perry
Here we go with Fatherís day again. I donít know about you but Iím still stuck in March and Iím having a hard time bringing myself around to thinking about summer being here this soon. But whether I like it or not, time waits for no man, much less me, so I had best get with it.

For those of you with fathers, take time out this coming Sunday to do something special for him. I was with one of my sons last weekend and we got to talking about how quickly time goes by. We were comparing dates in my life as compared to dates in his. You know how you do; you look back twenty or thirty years and begin to realize how quickly time goes by. In order for a couple of things to happen in his life and for me to still be around to see them, I will have to live to be somewhere around 110 years old. Might be hard to do.

This week one of my good friends died so someone lost a father, husband and a brother. Then another of my friends lost his 23 year old son. So, having had eye surgery and getting ready for knee surgery next week doesnít seem so bad for me. I am very fortunate.

There are a lot of things I would have liked to have asked my father, but was too dumb to think of while he was alive. Somehow I guess I thought he would always be around and when he wasnít, well, it was too late to do anything about it. I hope you donít make that same mistake. Ask questions while they are still around to give you the answers.

My wife always wants to know why I get so quiet when my sons are in the house. Itís mainly because I love to listen to them talk. They arenít kids anymore; they are all grown men and have their own issues and concerns over their lives and our social issues. I like hearing their opinions. I am well past the stage where I need a tie or a new pair of house shoes. I just want some time with my boys to hear their hearts. Our lives pass by so quickly that it is too sad that we look around and wonder what happened and often times its too late. For father as well as son.

Life is a funny thing, most of us choose to save only the good memories and toss away the bad ones. We often refer to Ďthe good old daysí when in reality those might have been some of the toughest days of our lives, but we gloss over the hardships and focus on the good parts. Those ties and slippers will wear out or go out of style, but good relationships are never going to be tossed away. All of us remember that song that Cat Stevens came out with years ago calledÖ ďThe Cats in the CradleĒ Ö..to me it was one of the saddest songs Iíve ever heard. The son had grown up just like the dad and didnít have time for their relationship any longer.

All of us have busy lives, it seems the older we get, the more so. I donít where the time goes each day, I find myself still trying to get things done late in the afternoons when I should have been finished hours ago. I do know one thing and that isÖ I value the time I get to spend with my boys, whether itís in person or on the phone. I know they have things to do as well and their time is just as valuable, but I also know that the clock is running and I wonít be here at some point in the future to answer those questions. Thatís why today is important for me to make myself available. This Sunday its important for you to do so as wellÖcall your dad or if you canít do so, then make time for your children. Listen to their hearts and answer those questions while you can.

The spring times of our lives past quickly into the fall and winter before we even begin to notice it.


© Peary Perry
Comments go to pperry@austin.rr.com

Letters From North America - June 17, 2009 column
Syndicated weekly in 80 newspapers
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