It's an honor

Reflecting on Fathers and Forefathers

I count my blessings that I have a wonderful father.

Dad and his father before him were skilled craftsmen, builders, and entrepreneurial in spirit. They worked the land on my great-grandfather's farm in rural Ontario, Canada, and both established small businesses to earn an honest living and served their community with their skills.

Their beliefs, principles, and values helped shape who I am, influenced choices I've made and paths I've taken, and helped me recognize the things in my life that matter most.

My father is incredibly kind, faithful and insightful. He has abundant patience, evident when he didn't flinch after I, a rookie young driver, showed him the distorted bumper on our family car.  He could fix most things and I'll forever remember him looking through his eyeglasses, calculating, pondering, with some tool or another in his hand ready to take on a task. He is dedicated to his faith, his wife, and family, and to his community. He's disciplined and regimented - evident in the way he takes good care of himself, diligently doing exercises after recovering from a broken hip, or being sure he eats a good breakfast every day - the same breakfast he has eaten for decades - raisin bran with milk, and toast with honey (I'm not kidding).

We all have a heritage, whether it be biological or adoptive, inherited or chosen.  We're all shaped by experiences and relationships, they inform who we are and why we choose the paths we do.

Pause for a while this weekend, remember and celebrate the father who has helped shape your life.

Happy Father's Day, Dad, and thanks. I love you.

From left to right, my great-grandfather, Frederick Sr., my grandfather Frederick Jr. (when he and I were fishing together at 6 am one morning), and my Dad, Robert Otterman