Fathers Day is a day to celebrate dads and can be a very happy time. But it can be a  day filled with sadness and grief. For me, I celebrate my dad - and the man that he is.I feel extremely blessed at age 51 to still have my dad on this earth. Many people I know have been without their father for many years, while others have lost their dad just in the past year. My heart goes out to each one who has suffered the loss of a dad.

I am also blessed to have a good father. I realize not everybody does. Not everyone wants to honor their dad on Fathers Day - and many with good reason. Not every dad deserves to be honored.

Being a dad isn't about  simply 'fathering a child'. Anyone can do that. Being a dad is about having a relationship with that child through the growing up years --and on into adulthood. It's about offering unconditional love, undying support, constant prayer,  endless encouragement,  strong discipline, words of wisdom - and time.

My dad, now 81, has offered all of those things -- and more. He has been an example of honesty, integrity, faithfulness to God, hard work, and perseverance throughout his life.

He has also exemplified the true love and devotion of a husband as  he cares tirelessly for my mom, who has suffered from Parkinson's Disease for over 35 years, and now in the latter stages requires a great deal of care. His patience, kindness, and tenderness never waver, no matter how difficult or trying the situation may be. He never, ever complains or grows weary.

There have been times in my life when I though maybe I didn't want to grow up to be like my dad. But, the older I get, the more I realize that being like my dad isn't a bad thing.

Sure, I could do without some of his quirks -- like his habit of saying 'huh?' whenever he's spoken to. And, I probably don't want to adapt his propensity for cooking meat on the grill to the point of complete and extreme dryness.(Got to make sure it's dead!) However, it's possible I have already followed in his footsteps of  falling asleep in front of the television.

But, when it comes to the things that matter in life, it turns out I do want to be like my dad after all.

Thanks, Dad, for being such a good dad.  You did it the right way.

Happy Father's Day!