Dear Dad…. Father’s Day 2012


My Dad, my brother, and I, from Thanksgiving 2008. He’s the short one in the middle.

Dear Dad,


Last night Judith and I co-hosted a poetry party

And for my contribution,

I read W.S. Merwin’s poem “Yesterday.”

I don’t know if you know that one.

It’s in part about fathers and sons

And taking the time to be together

When you can

Because one day

Some day

You won’t have

The time.


As I was reading the poem aloud in the group

I was overcome with emotion.

The tears came unbidden.

I had to pause

and gather myself.


I spend a lot of time with other people.

Caring for other people.

But not much with you.  Or with Mom for that matter.

The phone calls, the once or twice a year

Visits to see you have to suffice

For now.


I guess it occurred to me for the first time

That we won’t always have the time.

Oh, you’re only 70,

Which somehow used to seem old to me

And probably to you

But it doesn’t so much anymore.

We’ve got many more years left to share

Most likely, of course.

But for today

Which is the day we’re living now

The only day we’re promised

Let me just tell you

That I’m thankful to be your son.


 It’s not a present, and it’s not my presence,

But it’s as present as I can be right now.


So thank you.


Thanks for trips to ballparks and stadiums

And for passing on your loyalty to sports teams

A loyalty which binds you and I together through shared joy and sorrow.


Thanks for your love of music, your commitment to learning,

for sharing the passion of your political convictions,

And the ways you’ve come to express your pride in who I’ve become.


More than that

Thanks for living out what it means

To really trust in a Higher Power.

Thanks for living One Day At a Time.

Thanks for being a living example

Not just of “what not to do”

(remember the refrigerator magnet that said

“It may be my whole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others”? )

But of what to do:

Including helping fellow travelers on the road of life

And committing to spiritual growth yourself.


This morning

I used you as a sermon illustration:

Living proof of the existence of God.


Your thirty years of sobriety

Your fifty years of marriage to Mom

Your seventy years of life

Are not just proof that God exists.

Or that God cares.


They are proof that

Sometimes people say yes  

To life and love and loyalty.


So for now, let me just take the time to say

Thank you.



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8 Responses to Dear Dad…. Father’s Day 2012

  1. Dad says:

    It’s darn near impossible to express how deeply this touches me. Your words open and illuminate for me the often unnoticed aspects of my journey. I’ve been blessed to have two marvelous sons..that’s a great picture of us, by the way. The poem is one that has touched me when I first read it several years ago…it made me think of my dad and how few are the moments we shared. Our God is great. Our efforts in his behalf are often ordinary and unacknowledged. Thank you for all you do as my son and His.

    • afeickstaedt says:

      You’re welcome, Dad. I’m glad my words moved you–honest vulnerability has a way of doing that… I’m glad, too, that they helped you see the often unnoticed aspects of your journey. I’m grateful for you…

  2. George says:

    Wow! Aaron. This is beautiful. I am so glad that you shared this – especially on this Father’s Day.

  3. Nerissa says:

    Our God is great indeed. What a beautiful testiment to two beautiful men. Thanks for this.

  4. Rebecca says:

    What a special and beautiful poem. I am so lucky to have you for a father and to have Beebop for a grandfather…two people who have said yes to life, love and loyalty.

    I love you both so much. The blog is looking great, Dad!

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