“Every dad, if he takes time out of his busy life to reflect upon his fatherhood, can learn ways to become an even better dad.” —Jack Baker
Not everyone who is biologically a father is meant to be or is a proper father figure. So, fathers and those men who have stepped into those roles for young men and women are being celebrated Sunday. When it comes to fathers, they often seem stern in tutelage and manners, but can have a good laugh through the darkest of times. Some fathers step in and take over for men that haven’t figured out yet how to be a dad. It reminds me of a quote in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 when Yondu, a character played by Michael Rooker says, "He may have been your father, boy, but he wasn't your daddy."
That pivotal scene left movie goers with tears as the montage of Peter Quill (played by Chris Pratt) growing up in the Ravagers care. It shows that, though Yondu wasn’t his father, he raised him to be the man he is today. This particularly hits well with those who have only ever known stepfathers or coaches that have been with us every step of the way. A prime example is the time and dedication of Cus D’Amato who took the fire and fury of Mike Tyson and molded him into the youngest ever Heavyweight Champion of the World in Boxing.
Several fathers in the UFC have held belts and there are father competing at the highest levels in many sports. With that in mind they still go out of their way to teach their children life skills and to be better sportsmen. A video a few years old sees former UFC competitor Mark Munoz have a conversation with his son during a wrestling tournament. He reminds him to show character in defeat and improve and to always “keep your head up.”
See, fathers and father figures should be praised and looked on with pride for the role they have in our lives. Whether it was keeping us accountable at home or in the practice room they were there. Sometimes fathers can’t go as much as we would like them to, but their sacrifice this week was a new pair of wrestling shoes. His working holidays paid for the season and the wrestling tournaments.
Sunday, call, text, or go to your father and father figures and give them the love they are due. It’s not always presents, but presence that makes the world of different to the man that went from being your hero to your biggest supporter, because you in turn became his hero. Hug him, spend the time talking about the things he likes, and he may very well surprise you. Happy Father’s day to the men in my life who are real fathers.
If you are a father, if you want to be a father someday, if you're being a father figure in someone's life, or you have a father figure in your life.
I celebrate you all, along with my own father.
I hope you and your family are all safe and healthy.