Thursday, June 14, 2007

Who's Your Daddy?

Composed from sunny Tampa, FL --

I have been attending the INNUA Global Connect technology conference in Tampa this week and I had the opportunity to hear a very interesting and captivating speaker. His name is Frank Abagnale, Jr.. Frank spent over five years in the Sixties living under assumed identities and passing bad checks worth over $2.5 million in at least 26 countries. I would encourage you to read his ghostwritten biography Catch Me If You Can or see the 2002 Steven Spielberg movie by the same name. Or better yet, find Frank speaking somewhere and get it straight from him.

As a technology professional, I was looking forward to hearing about his exploits and how he helps fight similar fraudulent activity today. Instead, he told his story in his words. It is a very exciting story in which he left home at the age of 16 and traveled the world on his mature looks and forging checks to survive. Finally caught, after serving time in a couple of European prisons, Frank is escorted home by the FBI and learns of his fathers death. I found the remainder of his speech fascinating and impressive as he began to speak of what it means to be, not just a father, but a DADDY!

With Father's Day approaching, I found it very appropriate and that is why I am writing this today. Frank spoke of how his father, Frank, Sr., never failed to kiss his children and tell them he loved them. He said to be a man, you have to become a daddy. Anyone can be a father to a child but only a man would show the affection and care to his family and children that makes him a daddy. Frank, Jr. realized that God had given him a second chance to be a man.

God intended us, as men, to be daddies. Being faithful to our families, our friends and most of all to our God. That is what makes a real man. I have many similar memories of my father. I can't remember a time that he failed to tell me he loved me. Not even when he was angry with me. Even when I had grown up and had my own family, dad always made it a point to give me a hug or a kiss on the cheek and tell me he loved me. I miss him everyday and I still see the lessons I learned from him as I act them out, most of the time, unknowingly.

So, I want you to ask yourself this Father's Day, "Who's Your Daddy?". I'm not implying that you don't know who he is, but rather, do you consider him just your father or do you consider him your daddy? Being a daddy means you make sacrifices for the benefit of your family. A daddy sacrifices without questioning if it is the right thing to do. To allow a child to have things better than they had them, daddies give up many things. Many times we as children don't see those sacrifices but they are made anyway.

So, if you are a father, if you have children of your own, adopted children, foster children, or if you mentor a child in any way; go be a daddy today. Start the process of positive lessons and memories for your precious children. As Frank Abagnale stated in his speech, "Children are entitled to a mother and a father." As unpopular as it may be to say we, as parents, have no right to take that entitlement away through divorce. Go be a daddy!!!

Children, if your daddy is still alive and you can get in touch with him, tell him how much you appreciate the things he does or has done for you. I think a man, a daddy, needs to hear that. He won't complain if he doesn't but if you realize how much he loves you, he deserves to know he's made a difference in your life. I was able to tell my dad before he passed away that he had made a difference in my life and I was still learning lessons from him, important lessons, through his illness. Even though he was unable to express himself verbally near the end of his life, he knew that he would not be with me much longer but, I could see the pride in his eyes as he realized that even through his faults, he had raised a man and a daddy.

Today, I make it a point to always tell my wife and daughter I love them. Even if they are asleep, they both receive a kiss and an 'I Love You' from me. I hope they always know that if I am home, they may not have felt the kiss or heard the words, but I have kissed them good night and told them I love them. And when I travel, I always call home before they go to bed with an I love you, no matter what my schedule.

Girls, I'll see you in a few hours!! Daddy loves you both very much!!

Posted from Nashville, TN airport --


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Brad ~ This post (as all of your posts) is just incredible! Your words pierce right to the heart & soul. Honestly, I am too emotional right now after reading this post (good emotional, but emotional none the less) so for once in my life, I'm not going to be long-winded. LOL!! Will you please call me ASAP??? My home # is (xxx) xxx-xxx my cell (xxx) xxx-xxxx.

I have missed talking to you & Jennifer & I love you both very much & please give Jennifer & Jordan a hug from me! Hope to hear from you SOON...