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In honor of all Dads

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Father’s Day is June 15 this year. Dads might receive yet another funky tie or more smelly after shave. They might be waiting for that phone call from a far away child. So this is a perfect time to pause and think about Dads and what they mean to us.

Dads are often unsung heroes. They are always there, stalwart and steady. Daddies squish spiders and catch mice. They reach the high shelves and fix broken toys. And daddies worry about their daughters and sons, even though they try to not show too much emotion.

Dads have the softest hearts under a sometimes gruff exterior. Their calloused hands gently caress a child’s fevered forehead or smooth a wayward tendril of hair. Dads play catch, teach their kids to swim, take them fishing, or show them how to drive a car. Dads suffer inside when their children cry and smile broadly at that dance recital or soccer game or concert or award ceremony for their child.

Fathers are at the ready when their child needs a hand—even for adult children. And even though their efforts are sometimes taken for granted, they are willing to help again and again, never asking or expecting thanks.

When a child takes his or her first steps, Daddies are there to cushion the fall. And when his daughter walks down the aisle and Daddy has to give away his “baby girl,” he does it with a smile, even though his poignant heart feels a bit cheerless.Watching their child go off to college or to join the service, Dads flash back to when that child was just a baby and wonder where the years went. They hug their child with a sad heart, while they smile encouragement.

Sadly, Fathers do age. The quick step slows and the once straight form hunches over. Those formerly strong hands can no longer open a jar or give a firm handshake. But his arms can still hug and his eyes still sparkle when he smiles.

To all the Daddies, Dads, Fathers, Papas, Pops out there in northern Michigan and beyond, thank you and “Happy Father’s Day!”

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