A reminder for Father's Day

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With Father's Day approaching, I remembered a speech I heard a man make about child raising. To me, it rings so true. Occasionally, dads and grandfathers need a reminder. I was able to get a copy of his speech. Here is what he had to say.

"I remember when my two were 5 and 7 then. Just the ages when their daddy means everything to them. I wished that I could have spent more time with my kids, but I was too busy working after all. I wanted to give them all the things I never had when I was growing up.

I loved the idea of coming home and having them sit on my lap and tell me about their day. Unfortunately, most days I came home so late that I was only able to kiss them goodnight after they had gone to sleep. It is amazing how fast kids grow. Before I knew it, they were 9 and 11. I missed seeing them in school plays. Everyone said they were terrific, but the plays always seemed to go on when I was tied up. I kept promising that I would have more time 'next year.' But the more I became involved in business, the less time there seemed to be.

Suddenly, they were no longer 9 and 11, they were 14 and 16. I didn't see my daughter the night she went out on her first date or my son's championship basketball game. Mom made excuses and I managed to telephone them before they left the house. I could hear the disappointment in their voices, but I explained as best I could.

Don't ask where the years have gone. Those little kids are now grown and on their own. I can't believe it. My job is less demanding now and I finally have time for them, but they have their own interests and there is no time for me, to be perfectly honest. I'm a little hurt.

It seems like yesterday that they were 5 and 7. I'd give anything to live those years over. You can bet your life I'd do it differently. But they are gone now. And so is my chance to be a real Dad."

Elroy Riggs