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Faith of Our Fathers

Pete Codella is a proud father of two and one fortunate husband. He’s a digital public relations consultant and former singing gondolier at The Venetian in Las Vegas, and you can keep up with Pete at his website here or as a contributor  here.


I share a name with my father. He was named after his two grandfathers, Pietro and Joseph. My great-grandfather, Pietro Codella, hailed from Calitri, Italy. He left for America in his 20s with a firm belief in the American dream.

After saving his money working construction projects in New Jersey for several years, he returned to Italy to bring his young wife back to America with him. They had faith they could build a better life for their family in the U.S.

One of the primary roles of a father is to work to ensure a happy, healthy life for their children. Many fathers go to great lengths to accomplish this, even changing their citizenship.

On a recent business trip I saw a young father at the airport walking back and forth with his handicapped daughter who looked to be about 10. She moved with the help of a walker, with obvious concentration and difficulty. I was impressed by that father who was there literally every step of the way to help and support her. Fathers do this figuratively as well.

My father believed that if he provided a college education for his children, they’d be more successful.

My father-in-law is a stalwart example of supporting his adult children in their endeavors, even if those endeavors are different from what he’d choose for himself.

I believe fathers have the ability to change the world for good, to accept others, to show respect, and to work with others to make the world a better place. I’m impressed by fathers who stand up and stand in the right places, regardless of consequences.

Fathers may not be overtly sympathetic or outwardly cuddly, but they do want what’s best for their children even if cultural or social norms make that difficult to discern. Perhaps they don’t show emotion or shower their children with physical affection. Maybe they’re tough on their youngsters on and off the field. They still love their kids.

To those fathers who struggle with commitment or communication, it’s never too late to cowboy up.

For all the recent political and celebrity father gaffes, everyday fathers are doing their best to honor promises and be good dads. They just don’t get all the media attention. Fatherhood demands the best in us, even meekness in recognizing shortcomings and courage to either be different from or more in-line with tradition.

I salute fathers who work hard jobs to support families, who toil in ways that mostly benefit others, not primarily themselves. Fathers who do their best to eat right, stay healthy and increase their intellect. Men who love their children so much that they’d give their life for them. And, despite disagreements or disappointments, love the mothers of their children just as much.

I applaud fathers who choke up every time they hear of any physical or emotional harm inflicted on children, considering it unthinkable that could happen to their kid.

To all the fathers out there who work hard for a living, or sometimes work hard at trying to eke out a living, Happy Father’s Day! After all, it’s not the number of zeros in your paycheck that make you valued, it’s the relationships grown and cultivated over the course of a lifetime. The most important work any of us can do is to create a brighter future for our children by helping them become their very best and striving for the same within us. After all, they’ll follow our example easier than our words.

Just like my great grandfather, Pietro, exerted great effort to leave his Italian homestead and build a bright new American future for his family, fathers today strive for lives well-lived, full of service to others, with love expressed to their family and the Father of us all.

 

I believe in fathers.

 

Happy Father’s Day dads!

 

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