Sunday, December 21, 2008

An Ode to Dad

For Christmas – All I want is my Dad – My Hero

Many people wait until it is too late to say thank you. Worse yet, many people don’t know they should say thank you until its too late. Others think the time to say thank you is when its over… In another words, they eulogize their parents.

I don’t want to wait. I want to say thank you now. So Dad can hear it. So Dad can read it. So I can look in Dad’s eyes and tell him I love him. So he knows that I know what he has done for my late mom, my sister, for me, and for generations to come.

Dad is 91 now, and living with me. He is in great mental health, although physically he is slowing down. He is a man of faith, a man of honor, and a man of love. So here’s to you dad – my hero, thanks for everything you have done – you’ve lived a wonderful life….may God be with you always, here on earth, and forever after as well.

An Ode to Dad

Dad, thank you, thank you, thank you. Thanks for leaving your homeland in the early 50’s
To come to America to give future generations a better life
Thanks for finding mom, and having 50 wonderful years together
Thanks for raising my sister and me
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father.

An amazing life you have lived
Coming here penniless, you worked hard to get an education
Michigan, and Columbia, two great Universities
Your PHD is an accomplishment …
I still remember being at your graduation
But what you have achieved with your family
Is you penultimate accomplishment
You are my inspiration, my hero, and my father

A loyal man you are,
For fifty years, neither your eyes nor your heart ever wandered
Your fidelity is something that God smiles upon,
And so does mom in heaven, and sis and me
Through thick times and thin,
Through rough waters and smooth waters
You stayed true to your family..
That’s why I want you to know
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

Loyal to your family, loyal to your company
28 years with IBM, from the beginning,
I still remember your Outstanding Contribution Award,
I remember working in Armonk with you before you retired
I enjoyed our lunches together, as well as your advice
I was starting out back then,
But your success at IBM is something I wanted to emulate
When you retired, I was sad
I missed going to work, and not seeing you there
But you should know, I’ve work hard
To carry on your good name, at IBM and now at GE, because
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

So many memories I have of our times together
When I was young, I couldn’t wait for you to come home from work
So we could go to Barnard College, and play baseball together
You would usually let me win, throwing me pitches down the middle
So I could hit homeruns over the imaginary fence
I still remember I hit 99 homeruns one year – the record still stands
Do you remember? I’m still waiting for you to give me the plaque
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

I still remember Nai-Nai, my mother’s mom.
She was like a third parent to me.
You took her in the house
She lived with us, in our small apartment in NYC
But you never had a fight with your mother in law
You were a kindred spirit, kind and gentle,
You treated her with dignity, respect, and kindness
It taught me how to respect those that are older and wiser
And to care for those during the twilight of their lives
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

I know the culture you came from said study first, sports second
But being born here, sports was important to me
Thanks for allowing me to wrestle and play baseball
In elementary and high school
It would have been easy for you to say no,
But you saw in my heart, I really wanted to play badly
And you gave up your cultural beliefs for my desires
For that, I am grateful, and I will never forget that…
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

I remember when you took me to my first sporting event
The Rangers versus the Canadians when I was 6
The Rangers won 9-5, I remember as if it was yesterday
How about the Mayor Trophy’s game,
Between the Yankees and the Mets
When I got sick and wanted to go home shortly after the first pitch
But most of all, do you remember
You and me at the Rangers Stanley Cup?
We went together to Game 7 to see the Rangers win 3-2!
How special was that moment…
Dad and Son, seeing a memory of a lifetime
They didn’t win one for 54 years, and they may not win for another 54
But they won one for you and me, and that’s good enough
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

Everything I have today
I owe to the sacrifices that you and Mom made
To leave your homeland, and your family, to come to America
To give us a better future
Your six grandchildren are the fruits of your sacrifices
Your daughter-in-law and your son-in-law admire and love you as well
But none of this would have happened,
If Mom and you hadn’t brought up Sis and me the way you did
That’s why you are our inspiration, our hero, our father

I see the way you were gentle and sweet to Mom
And how you cared for my sis and me
And that’s what I try to do now with my family
To be a devoted husband to my beloved wife, Jeanette
We’ve been married 21 years,
But have 29 years to go to match your success
Our 4 kids are blessed to know you and Mom
The values you taught me, I plan on passing down to them
Someday they will grow up to be good young men…I promise you
And I hope someday they will say to me what I tell you
You are my inspiration, my hero, my father

Dad, you’ve lived a wonderful life, and although your health is slowing
I know you are at peace. Your time on earth has been well spent,
You’ve made a big difference in this world
When the time comes, and God comes calling,
I know you will be ready...
I will miss you, but know that you are in good hands
Thanks for everything dad… I want you to know I love you so much
I couldn’t have been luckier to be born into the family that I was
You are the best dad, the greatest dad,
The only dad I ever could ever want
Because you will always be
My inspiration, my hero, and my father.

Love Always,



  1. What an amazing, beautifully written poem dedicated to your dad.

  2. I lost my dad exactly one yer ago, to complications from Parkinson's as well. I cried from the second sentence of your letter to your father, on. I'm so happy your dad got to read this.