I owe so much to my father. My Dad taught me to think for myself and to stand up for what I believe in. My Dad showed me how to work hard, serve the community, and respect others. He listened when I needed to rant, and advised when I wanted help. He may not have been a perfect human being (who is?) but he was a perfect father.
Most of all, my father was the one person in my life I wanted most to honor. When I look at what I have accomplished and the work I am doing and have yet to do, I know that he would be proud. He would be looking at me with that small grin, and wordlessly approving of the man I have become.
My father lives on in me most when I am truest to my core essence. My father lives on when I fight for justice and human rights for all. My father lives on when I help children and youth learn how to be themselves and find joy in the world. My father lives on when I work as an ally to all oppressed groups, from GLBTQ folk and women to immigrants and religious minorities. My father lives on when I let my muse guide me through the world of art and creativity, and when I saunter through the world seeking meaning in the infinite synchronicities around us.
My greatest hope in life is that my son will be a man who sees me that same way and will become that kind of father to his children; that my daughter will be a powerful and fearless woman; that my grandchildren will to learn to respect everyone, to love everyone, and to care about everyone over money, power, and status; and that through my life and deeds, I help strong and loving fatherhood endure.