Sunday, June 15, 2014

Father's Day: A Day Of Many Special Meanings

Today we celebrate Father's Day, but for most father's like myself, the day is not about being a father but instead it is about our capacity to love our children.  So to each of you who celebrate this important day - whether you are a father, or a son or a daughter, today is about love.

With the greatest depth of feelings of love a person can have, I would like to say to my son that today I celebrate him: his life, his joy, his adventures, his journey, and his happiness.  I am extremely proud of you son, and know that our world is a better place because of your life.  And most of all, I love you - and always will.

Son, we have a kaleidoscope of meaningful adventures and important times shared together. I close my eyes for a moment and a floodgate of joyful memories immediately come to mind: Memories like the time years ago when you had the privilege of going into the Discovery Space Shuttle at the Kennedy Center, or the time we went looking for Big Foot in the Canadian Cascades, or the time we went to our first baseball game, or the first time we went fishing and a moose tried to get in our car, or the time you sat in the helicopter co-pilot seat and flew all day island hoping, or the first time we went jet-skiing,  and the many nights we did homework together, and the many, many times you decided we needed to 'go shopping', but most of all, the times that I recall most with the most meaning are the times when you would simply give me a hug and tell me you love me.  Thank you son: you are and always will be the most important part of my world no matter where your journey takes you.

Along my own journey, particularly as a child advocate dedicated to assisting families in crisis, particularly those impacted by abduction, there is no way to avoid becoming close to many of the children that I, in my capacity with the I CARE Foundation, have assisted.  Some of these children have become very important parts of my day-to-day life, while others who I have not personally met but have dedicated great efforts to, have become such an important part of my own spiritual fabric. I have been blessed to embrace the love I have for each of them - and to dedicate part of my life to ensuring that these children find life's magic.

Each of you and your families have reminded me every day that love is everything it is built up to be.

And to my Dad - as I shared with you this morning, not only have you been and continue to be an extraordinary father and man, but as I get older you continue to get wiser! I love you Dad.

And before I go, I would like to send this special message to a friend sitting 7,000 miles away .... working at his desk .... working to protect children:  Happy Father's Day, pal. The world needs you!

Happy Father's Day to all - and remember - today is a day to celebrate LOVE!