Dateline: Berkeley, CA
June 19, 2016 6:00am (PDT)
On my morning run, and as the sun rose today thoughts of my father filled my mind. “The old man.” “Pop.” “Dad,” and long, long ago, “Daddy.” In breathing in the moist morning air memories of him began to fill as the last mile of the trek began to take it’s toll on my legs, arms and chest.
The more I thought of him the more determined I was to finish the run as hard and as fulfilling as ever. I remembered many of what he told us in growing up; perseverance, strength, commitment, honor and spirit, including other values which he instilled in us all until his dying day.
I then thought of what he told us of his own father, and his father’s father and of which reinforced what he had told to us those years ago and in a country far, far away and where war had ravaged their homes, that which took the lives of countless other fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers – relatives and friends.
Considering my goals and aspiration when I was younger I remember most, if not all of the things he said. He told me that life was fraught with danger and to keep my wits honed, as well as keeping my attention to details resolute. He told me of how life was a struggle filled with endless challenges and obstacles. He told me that he could not make of my life that which he would desire, but he reinforced and encouraged my dreams by telling me that to do what was in my heart, mind and soul and to never, ever regret the decisions made in achieving a life of happiness and joy – To realize what it means to be a head of my own family, and to know that I too would be ever loved and cherished.
In reaching the fence which demarcated the end of my run I held my hands to the back of my head and looked up at the clear blue sky; my blood and heart rushing and beating from the invigorating exercise. I then whispered a short prayer of appreciation of him, and one he taught us all in time eternal, and proceeded home to continue my place and responsibility as a father.