Paying Tribute To Dad
Foreword Written By: Adam Palazio
Father's are not just the figure head of a household they are the backbone the lifeblood. We all love mom and certainly being a mother is the most difficult job of all. Yet if there were to be a classification for the second most difficult job of all, fatherhood would be right there.
Think about it. Who were you most scared to upset? Who was the level headed one in times of family crisis? Who opened their wallet to help get you through college? Who taught you about sports, the birds and the bees, or even how to be a man? Most likely the answer to most or all of those questions is dad.
However for some reason dad doesn't get the same celebration or fanfare mom does. On Mother's day mom is treated to a fancy brunch,a fresh bouquet of flowers, and heartfelt greeting card. Dad gets a backyard hot dog and a corny necktie. Why is that? Why is the man that taught us so much and gave his all to make sure we had it better than he did treated which such careless regard?
It's obvious dad doesn't want the flowers or fancy meals. If your house is anything like mine was then your dad would rather see mom be pampered then anyone make a big fuss over him. But maybe we should make a fuss. Not a corny heart-shaped balloon sheet cake type of fuss however I propose we all take the time to say thank you to the man who is the most important in our lives.
For me I'd like to say thanks dad for all those practices you took me to. For having patience when I screwed things up royally in my adolescents. For supporting me in my crazy endeavors and listening to my reasoning after every triumph and tragedy. Thanks for teaching me how to build and create and navigate in a wood shop. Most of all thank you for being the best dad I could ever ask for.
Here's what some of the other Bob staffers had to say about Father's Day.....
Aching back. Creaky knees. Gimpy ankles. These are just a few of the things I inherited from my father, the original Mr. Willette. There's an old saying that you should never attempt to fill the shoes or follow in the footsteps of a great man, because you'll never be able to measure up. And perhaps it's even true that Mr. Willette's first born isn't fit to carry his jock. Because he's one of the good guys.
Yeah, he was a tuxedo model. Yeah, he's got movie star looks and even at 60 still looks like a prime Clark Gable. And yeah over the years, everywhere we went, women fawned over my dad. But on Father's Day, that's not the part that crosses my mind. The everlasting imprint he will leave on the world is heroism. I've known my dad was a hero since I was old enough to pose for pictures in his fire engine. It's almost cliche to call first responders heroic, as most recognize the daily sacrifice these men and their families make to help keep their communities safe. There's nothing cliche, however, about saving lives. And that's what he did. Maybe Mr. Willette never talked about it, but there were plenty in town who did, who never let me forget that he was a man among men, that he was regarded with universal respect, and that he was, more than anyone else I've known, one of the good guys.
Sure, I've inherited his breaking down body. But on Father's Day, deteriorating discs and shot knees won't be on my mind. I'll be celebrating a man, THE man, who if nothing else in life, raised men. I'll never fill his shoes, and I'll never have a fraction of the respect he gets just by walking in a room. But until my last breath, I will always strive to be one of the good guys.
It was always easy for me to take my dad for granted. Based on my earliest memories, my dad was always there for me. From attending every baseball game from tee-ball through high school to taking me to the small and dingy sports cards store every week so I could improve my baseball card collection, I literally cannot think of one instance where my dad failed to “show up” when I needed him. Even now, at 30, I call my father regularly to ask annoying questions like “what does this letter from my insurance company mean?” and “what does it mean if your car makes this noise?” And he always answers kindly and non-judgmentally, even though he has the right to laugh at my incompetence.
As for my fondest memory, it’s an instance that has nothing to do with sports, car repairs or typical “guy stuff.” It was a moment that was out of character for my dad, who is mostly reserved and doesn’t always express himself emotionally. It occurred the day I moved back home after my girlfriend and I broke up. After seeing that I was upset (more like on the verge of tears) my dad gave me a hug and said, “I’m here for you.” It may seem inconsequential, but it really meant the world to me and still does to this day. It meant more than every Pawtucket Red Sox game we went to and more than the time he helped me navigate my way home after I got so very lost my first time driving alone. So thanks, dad.
I think of how much I loved and miss my Dad who passed years ago. The fond memories I have are with me always. Today I can't wait to see and talk with my own now adult children for Father's day hugs. I shower my children with kisses and hugs as I miss them everyday. In their adult lives we don't see each other as often as we would like so I take every opportunity to simply tell them how much I love them. I have my share of regrets but as a father I honesty can say I did my best to ensure my children felt love as my father did for me.
WBOB Senior Writer
Father's Day used to be about grabbing a witty greeting card, a few cigars or a nice bottle of wine for dad, hanging out at his house watching the Yankees while complaining about that goddamn Jorge Posada swinging at breaking balls at the dirt. That all changed when I became a first-time father a year ago. Being a father is my greatest achievement, and while my 17-month-old son is too young to understand right now, it's equal parts joyous and nerve-wracking knowing I have the power to help shape him into the man he will become once he gets older. You'll never stop getting nervous, whether it's worrying about him running too fast on the hardwood floors, or worrying about shipping him off to college in 18 years, but you'll never stop smiling, either, once you experience fatherhood for yourself.
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