Be A Day

Dear Dad,

There are moments where I take a moment to clear my mind and find you in my thoughts and actions. Whenever I am quiet enough to shut out the riff-raff of this world, the architecture and makeup of who I am comes into the light, and I can see you clearly in my life. In similar instances, there are times where I long – rather than find – for you to be here with me. With us. With your family. I long for the day where I may tap your shoulder and let you know that I, too, crossed the finish line and fell into the arms of our Savior; a life fought with effort, failures, and victory conquered through perseverance.

In every man lies the inner hope that others look up to him, as a man, for advice and counsel. More often than not, this same man has some inner desire to find real counsel and advice from one who is worthy to give it. Dad, I’ve had the opportunity to speak to a great many young men who are doing their best to grow into strong men. However, there is still the part in me that realizes I can only give advice for where I have been; making the path where I have not been blaring and obvious.

Dad, I am trying. I am trying my hardest to be a son that will make you proud, provide for his family, and be a man of noble character and upright standing. I won’t forget the day where you told me “Aaron, I wish I could offer you a beer right now” after I came inside, drenched with sweat after a long day spent toiling in the yard and cleaning the garage. At one point during the day, I remember that I would try extra hard in this work so that I could impress you. Those words, while completely unexpected, were one of the greatest compliments you ever offered. A job well done, son. Those words, spoken in scant seconds, justified every ounce of sweat spilled that day.

“We’ll see.” were words I heard from you on a great many occasions. I never quite realized these words were spoken out of silent hope on your part; hope that you would be able to finish the things you said you would, or do the things you hoped to. What I wish that I had expressed to you, before your departure, was that a single hug from you was more valuable to me than any vacation or beachfront property you could have gotten for our family. Dad, I would give anything for just one more Willem Plaat hug. One more strong handshake. One more throw in the pool. Just one more late night trip to Meijer so we could “look for something to find”.

Yet, we are not given this luxury of seeing you once more. For that, I can only maintain a bittersweet sense of knowing that you are in a better place, while also understanding it’s not on our shoulders to carry, improve, and move forward to goals and visions you imparted to your children.

Perhaps you never drove the Ferrari you dreamed of; understanding every part, function, and immaculate design of the vehicle. And maybe you never lived in a ritzy New York loft apartment, seen with eyes that appreciated design, craftsmanship, and beauty, rather than eyes that only saw a price tag and image. You certainly never had fancy clothes, designed by a custom tailor in Italy. However, you were more man in your Lazarus suit than many of the half-witted men strolling around with their fat windsor.

Dad, what I mean to say is that you may not have been perfect. But you weren’t so bad, either. A lot of times, I think about all of the areas where you had deficiencies. However, I am beginning to understand that you, just like any one of us, were another human being that was simply doing his best with what he had.

Thinking about you, I can’t help but be thankful for the time and opportunity that we did have to spend together. Many young men would be very grateful to have had half the man and father that you were. I want to let you know that I am looking forward to seeing you, but very focussed on my work and call with the life I’ve been blessed with.

Yes, there is the inner desire to have the approval from a father figure. However, I know that you would give it if you could. And I also know that our Heavenly Father is equally (actually, more) proud of the journey of life that I, as a son, am experiencing.

Thank you. Thank you for the sacrifices you made. Even the ones I did not understand at that particular moment. You were the best, Dad.

See you soon, Superman.

Your Son,

Aaron Plaat

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