Saturday, June 16, 2007

A Son's Tribute to his Father

I was racking my brain thinking of what to get my dad for Father's Day. What would convey my love for him more than anything else? To put it simply... nothing money can buy. What will a sappy card or a gift certifcate show? It's funny... at holidays I used to be like every other kid... I wanted shit. Now I am more like my dad... he would rather have to company and love of those closest to his heart. I am unable to do one of those this year (company) but I can show my love.

As I hav grown, matured, and lived over these past 22 years, I have come to appreciate, respect, and love my dad more and more. He has been unwavering... always behind me, supporting me, pushing me forward in whatever it is I choose to do, whether he agrees with it or not. I know it has killed him knowing that I have finally called it quits on sports. Regardless... he has stood behind me in my new endeavors. He talks to me with excitement about my future. He is as committed to seeing me succeed in photojournalism as he was for football. He knows I love what I do, and knows Im damn good at it, and it makes him proud to see my achieve amazing things.

He stood beside me in the best of times and the worst, always pulling, pushing, dragging me forward. He has done more than anyone else in my life and has never once given up on me. In all the chances he had, he refused, and worked even harder to see the best in me.

He understands me in a way that shocks and amazes me and we share a connection that words are of no importance. We feel each others moods from even hundreds of miles away, and are always in constant contact.

Lets not fool ourselves. He isn't perfect, but then again who is? There were times when he wasn't there... when he wasn't supporting me, but he works even harder now to make up for it. I done hold anything against him... our past is littered with good times and bad, but I dont regret any of it. I love him even more for the flaws he has, and for his ability to know he has them, and to try and overcome them. He doesn't hide who he is, or what he is, but wears it proudly, and badges of honor. He has survived more than most people and came out better than before.

If I had one wish... on request of God, it would be that I could be half the father my dad has been. Its because of the love that my dad gave me, that I can't wait to be a father, and to raise a son on whom I can bestow all the knowledge and love that my father has given me.

People always speak of heroes and role models. They pick celebrities, athletes, teachers, etc. I never had to look past my own home. I had a hero living with me... MY hero.

Dad... I love you with all of my heart, and thank you for everything youve given me. Youve been a better father, friend, and man than you will ever know. Without you... I would not be here... and I know without me... you wouldn't be either. I miss you every day, and wish I could tell you this face to face. I wish I could sit with you, and just talk like we used to. The time will come around again soon... but for now, let these words be the messenger. No father could ever take your place... and you are the person I look to in my times of need. You are the man who I learn from, and whom I will model when I have a son of my own.

Dad I love you... and this Fathers Day... be reminded that you are very much appreciated.

And know that whenever I look at my left wrist I am reminded of you. (you'll see soon enough)

This is my tribute to you, Russell George Townsend, and the father you were, are, and always will be.

Your son,