Remember the time the cops came to the house to pick me up, and by the time they got me to the police station you had a lawyer there awaiting my arrival? That was pretty cool! Not sure if I ever thanked you.
Then again, maybe you were being a little overindulgent. You were like that sometimes. Other times, not so much. By my late teens I'd pretty much honed my A-hole skills to a fine edge, and some contemplative quietude in the hoosegow might have given me the opportunity to reconsider the road I was on.
Anyway, that's just another bridge under the water at this juncture, is it not?
I have to admit that I didn't really develop any serious appreciation for your accomplishments as a father until I became one myself. That's when the inevitable comparisons began.
You were born into a family so poor you were farmed out to relatives for upbringing.
I was born into a family that, thanks to your indefatigable work ethic, never materially wanted for anything.
Your childhood was shattered by World War Two.
My childhood was shattered by the fact that you reneged on your promise to allow me to play Pee Wee hockey if I got straight A's on my grade three report card. I know... I've always been a bit of a snowflake.
You grew up in a refugee camp in Denmark. You made the decision to apprentice as a baker on the theory that a baker's children would never go hungry. It didn't occur to me until I was well into middle age that such a choice could only be made by someone who had known hunger.
I've never known hunger. I've never felt any need to make career decisions, and it was only through dumb luck that I eventually landed in something that resembled one.
You took your young family away from everything familiar to take a chance on a new life in a new and totally foreign country. That took serious courage.
I've only gone to foreign countries to take pictures and smoke dope. That took zero courage.
Your philosophy as a businessman was that it's an honourable thing to leave something on the table for the next guy. My philosophy as a businessman was, if the pie turns out tasty, try to grab the whole thing. Maybe that's why your business career spanned sixty years and mine flamed out in bankruptcy court in less than sixty months.
But we're not complete opposites, Dad.
Like you, I don't give a shit what the neighbours think.
Like you, I'm not much for trends and fads.
Like you, I get up and go to work every day.
And just like you, my number one deal has always been to make sure my kids are OK.
Thanks for everything, Dad.
Happy fathers day!