Guest post from middle son Brad…


Father’s Day has always held a special place in my heart, not because it’s a day where I get to call the shots, but because it’s a time to reflect on the profound gift of being a dad.

Each of my children is unique in their own way, and this day allows me to cherish the privilege of raising them. It’s also a day for me to reflect on my journey as a son.

Yesterday, our Father’s Day was filled with heartfelt moments. We started the day attending church, followed by a wonderful in-depth family conversation about life, goals, and plans. These discussions are a cherished tradition, providing a moment of connection and understanding. Afterward, we loaded up the car and drove out to visit my dad, affectionately known as “Dziadek,” which means grandfather in Polish.

Being a dad is something I take immense pride in. I love every part of it—the struggles and the victories. This year’s Father’s Day was particularly unique and poignant. We spent a lot of time reflecting on the fact that a year from now, our oldest will be 18, a legal adult, ready to embark on her own journey. I’m excited for her future, but I also recognize that while she will always be daddy’s girl, she will no longer be daddy’s little girl.

This realization brings a mix of emotions. I’ve been incredibly blessed to play a role in raising my children, doing so intentionally and with an unwavering commitment to keeping them as the cornerstone of my life with my wife. Watching them grow up is both a joy and a bittersweet reminder of the passage of time.

Just like my siblings and I grew up, my children will too. Someday, I will be the Dziadek, cherishing my grandchildren and reflecting on the years gone by. Father’s Day is a beautiful reminder of the cycles of life and the lasting impact of love and dedication in raising a family.

Our final stop of the day was at the cemetery to visit my father-in-law, Dan. His resting place is just ten minutes from where my parents live. My daughters loved him dearly (he was their step-grandpa), my son met him twice, and my wife misses him profoundly. Much like the film “Coco” depicts, we keep those who have passed away alive for future generations by sharing their stories. Our son is very well aware of who his grandpa Dan is. Someday, we will all meet the fate of Grandpa Dan—if we could all be so lucky to be remembered the same way.

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  1. Thank you for this brief yet profoundly inspiring reflection. I did some remembering of my Dad this fathers day. When I was born he was already a Dziadek and Mom was a Babcia. I wish he had lived longer. He died 70 years ago, but my memories are still vivid. English was not his native language, but he learned it well enough to sing to me when I was very young and the song he sang was YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE, MY ONLY SUNSHINE, YOU MAKE ME HAPPY WHEN SKIES ARE GRAY …. I was his 11th child and 8th son. I’m sure his other offspring weren’t less bright.
    All the best, and thanks again, Bradley, And best to Mom and DAD!
    Alexei

  2. Beautiful. We need both moms and dads. My son gave me a card with a ship that pops up. It reminded him of the Vikings which is part of our Scandinavian heritage. We still kid about Viking humor. He also gave me a book by Anne Lamott titled Bird By Bird. The daughter of one of my ESL students drew a picture for me that said Feliz Dia de Los Padres. Yoni, my student from Venezuela, brought me some candy last night. My wife gave me a sombrero to protect me from this brutal South Texas sun. Happy Fathers Day to all the fathers. Keep up the good work.