It's Fathers' Day; that one day of the year when television, radio and newspapers encourage us to spend up large to show our fathers that we care.
We lost our father more than 20 years ago, to prostate cancer that had spread to his spine, and caused his kidneys to fail. Dad was a stoic individual, typical of many of his generation. He seldom complained, and wasn't one to show his feelings, except when he was angry. There is no doubt that he was profoundly affected by his service of King and country in WWII, not that he ever talked about it..
Even in his final days, Dad kept his suffering to himself. He was uncomplaining, and he suffered in silence. He certainly wouldn't have chosen to end his life early, even though his quality of life in his last weeks was poor. To him, life was precious.
We miss Dad immensely, and we don't need Fathers' Day to remember him. He taught us the value of hard work, of loyalty, of thrift and of integrity. We also learned that bottling up our emotions isn't necessarily a productive thing.
So to those of you out there who are fathers, our best wishes go your way; not just today, but every day. Being a father is often a thankless task, but in these days when so many children grow up without a positive male role model in their lives, it's a vital one.
And to those of you who still have fathers, don't just wait for today to tell them how much they mean to you, because there is a huge void in your life when they're gone.