Law Office of Jeffrey B. Kelly
107 E. 5th Ave., Rome, GA 30161
this father’s day THINKING ABOUT MY DAD
This Father’s Day, I wanted to share a little bit about my own father with you all. I feel very lucky to have had him in my life, because my dad was a great guy. A pharmacist who worked long hours, he was never afraid to show that he loved me, or tell me to my face. In fact, he always said, “I love you.” One time, when I was a teenager, I got pretty embarrassed. “Come on, Dad,” I said. “We’re guys. We’re not supposed to say that we love one another!” At that moment, my dad really knocked being a father out of the park. He grabbed me by the shoulders and shook me. “I never heard those words from my father,” he said, “and I wish that I had. I never want you to doubt that you had a father who loved you.” I may have been an embarrassed teenager, but his words made an impact on me — all the more so because he died just a few years later, when I was 16. Although his passing was a tragedy, I never doubted that he’d loved me every single day. And he knew that I loved him, too. Dad taught me a lot of things. An Atlantan, born and bred from a long line of proud Atlantans, he’d worked hard his entire life. He went to Grady High in downtown Atlanta, attended the Atlanta Pharmacy School, and lived in the area until he passed. All that work paid off in the form of a Mark V Lincoln Continental, a car that he loved so much he wrote songs about it. I’m not kidding! One day, I wanted to move the car into the garage, so I could play basketball in the driveway. To this day, I don’t know what I was thinking —
I wasn’t even old enough to drive yet! Need I say more? I totally messed up the fender, and I called my dad practically in tears. When I told him what happened, I think he
was practically in tears as well! But that didn’t stop him from imparting a lesson about forgiveness: “I love you,” he said. “I forgive you. But you’re still going to spend all summer working in the pharmacy to pay for the damage!”
I never doubted that he’d loved me every single day. And he knew that I loved him, too.
Who was I to argue? I worked all summer, and he ended up getting in an accident later that year, so he never fixed the fender. One time I brought it up and asked if I could get the money back, since he’d never fixed it. “Son,” he said, “that’s not the way the world works.” That was another valuable lesson from my dad. But most of all, my dad taught me how important it is to appreciate the ones we love while we have them, because we never know how much time we really have. This Father’s Day, I hope we can savor the moments we have — or had — with our dads. Those moments are incredibly precious.
And tell your kids you love them, over and over again.
– Jeff Kelly
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