My Father Edward Lowell Barton died on October 2, 1997; he was 79 years old. I am proud to be the son of a man like my Father. As on Mother's Day, my challenge today is remaining brief and not being maudlin. Below are just a few lessons my Father taught me. I encourage you to tell your father what you've learned from him; it's a gift he will not forget. I'm very proud to say that what I've written here I told my Father while he was still with me.
* My Father's loyalty to my Mother taught me to have a profound respect for women. I consider this one of my best traits.
* Though my Father did not have a great deal of formal education, his love of learning was contagious. Happily, I was infected.
* My Father was a WWII vet; landed at Normandy, 2nd wave of D-Day, Infantry. I was in college when the Vietnam War was raging. I clearly recall a conversation after I got my lottery number and we both realized there was a chance I could be drafted. Though I was ashamed of my fear, I was also certain I was not military material. When I told my Father I was considering Canada he said "Patrick, you do what you have to to stay out of this war". My Dad was a proud American and a patriot in the real sense of the word. I learned from that conversation the real meaning of unconditional love. I'm still working on that one.
Happy Father's Day, Dad.