Monday, June 16, 2014

Reflections onFather's Day

Father's Day, a bittersweet day for me. A time to remember, honour and respect the memories of my father and at the same time to acknowledge the privilege and joy of being a father to 3 wonderful sons.
 Excerpts from my recently published book "Life Lessons" describe  my relationship with him. "My father, while physically short and stocky, was a larger than life figure to me. Intelligent, well read, he was highly energetic and thoroughly enjoyed a practical joke.My father was a big, small man whom I idealized. Roy, the youngest of three brothers, was brought up by a stern, cold, calculating father and a caring mother who infused him with a mixture of socialism and capitalism that would take a lifetime to integrate.
I recall one conversation I had with Dad, in which he encouraged me to become a millionaire and then work to help the poor. My father, a maverick, a rebel. a secular Jew, was ahead of his time in encouraging the wealthy to make  society better by giving back.
My father, inculcated me with integrity, justice and the belief that to be a somebody you either had to be very wealthy or have an outstanding education while in both cases giving back to the community". One of my fondest memories of Dad is his playing football on the front lawn with baby sister Joanne, all of 3 years old hiking the ball and my brother Stanley and I taking turns catching the ball thrown by Dad, while the other did his best to defend.
Unfortunately, my father's ill health limited his activities and his untimely death at age 56 was a major loss to me.My father a man of his times, was not in tune with my more modern sensitivity and psychological make-up. My professional ambition was fuelled in part by my desire to win my father's approval and love. I wish that I would have had the opportunity for each of us to get to know each other as adults. If you are fortunate to have your father with you, make sure he is a part of your life.
Perhaps, because of the early death of my father, I have always cherished and nurtured my relationship with my 3 sons. As a father, despite my human limitations, I tried to make my children aware of the real world. I taught them to treat others, no matter their background, with respect and dignity and to make an effort to make this a better world. I tried to be open and direct with them and not shield them from the injustices and harsh reality that sometimes occurs despite our best efforts.
I am proud of my boys, of the caring and compassionate men they have become. They are all free spirits, who march to their own tune, and I feel blessed to be part of their lives. 
David Nozick