So it’s Father’s Day and I hope this finds you spending some time with those gents that are close to you.
For many, Father’s day is a day to reflect on that “male figure” in their lives. Whether it is your Dad, a Step-Father, a friend or just that someone who was always there for you, I hope you are able to think of them in fine ways.
For many others there is the ability to see and send time with your Dad. If you are able to do so I hope you have a great day. I for one am one of you. As you read this I’m spending some time with my Dad and my sons’ Tyler and Kyle. I hope you are having as good of a time as I am.
But for the lucky and for the privileged there are a few of us that have a combo of all of the above. You have several individuals that have influenced you in your life, whether it be for a few moments, portions of your life or all of it, you may have had several “father’s” help you along the way. I’m one of those people.
From a young age family was instilled in me. My Dad was close to his Dad, which in turn has transcended onto the relationship I have with my Dad. But along the way others came into the mix to help shape me. Now in no way am I saying I’m the “Man of all Men”; however I am lucky to have had the influence I’ve had.
My Dad’s brother, my Uncle Leonard played a major part in my life and my growth as a man, and still does. I would spend weeks during my summer vacations as a kid helping (or annoying) he and my Grandfather on the family farm. As a farmer Leonard had to have patience and for some reason he always did and does with me still. I learned how to change the oil on a truck from him. He has shown me how to operate various types of machinery that I still can maneuver. He’s help teach me about the outdoors and how to be patient and how to get a job done right, just like his Dad did.
My other uncle David who much like his brother Leonard (both my dad’s younger brother’s) was like a big brother to me in ways while I was growing up. I recall he would come to visit me and my parents while he was attending college in La Crosse, WI and we would watch cartoons together. Later in life as I suppose we both grew, he has taught me how to be kind and how to stay steady in a way. To this day seeing both of these two men excites me as I think about what was as well as what I will learn from them today.
My Step-Father Harry is very near and dear to my heart. He has taught me to cherish the little things in life. He has directed me on how you succeed even when you fail. He has shown me how to golf and without his support I or my sons could barely swing a club. Harry has taken me in as if I was his own and has always had the ear to listen to me when things are on my mind. He has shown me that Bud Light is by far the superior beer of choice when on a golf course or while watching a game. He loves my kids as well as me and I love him dearly.
Phil Zuleger, my ex-wife’s father met me when I was 16. I was a funny kid and I’m sure he wasn’t sure what to make of me at first. Phil has always been there and still is to this day. We’ve hunted many acres of woods, fished many miles of water and laughed hard along the way. Phil has always been there to listen as well as lend a hand with “handy man” help I many need. I’ll always cherish Phil, his family and his friendship.
This brings me to my Dad, Ed Olson. It’s hard to describe into words how to explain what my Dad means to me. He’s my Father, he is my friend and he’s always there for anything. Through the past few years we have not been geographically as close as we used to. Several variables sent my Dad back to the beautiful area of Black River Falls, WI back to where he grew up, just down the road from my Uncle Leonard. As we may now be miles apart, we still talk every few days to catch up. From he looking to see what’s new with me and I the same to him or to what’s new with the kids and such, it’s always nice to touch base. One of the greatest things he has taught me, besides how to strive to be a good man, a good parent and a good partner, he’s taught me to never fear what life throws at you. He’s seen some shit in his day and much like his Dad taught him he has shown me that you will get knocked down, and it’s a matter of dusting yourself off, tightening up you boot straps and move on to get your shit done. He’s the master of it and I applaud him for it.
All of the above men have shaped me. As we all age together I see all of them as parts of me. I love you all and I thank you all. My only hope is that through our lives together I do not let you down as you all are hard acts to follow.
So do me a favor today. Think of that person who shaped you, man or woman. Give them a call, send them a though or stop by to see them. Shake their hand or give them a hug and tell them thank you for all of the lessons they have given you. You will thank me for it later.
Thanks all. Have a good day!