When thinking about a post for Father’s Day, the image of Derek Redmond instantly came to mind. For those that don’t know, or don’t remember, Derek Redmond was a 400 meter runner for Great Britain in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. He started the race in great shape and was in fact, running the race of his life. He could see the finish line right in front of him. Then the unthinkable happened. First came the pain, then the realization that he had torn his hamstring. He laid on the track as all of the other runners passed him on their way to finishing the race. Then, before the medical staff could get to him, he gained enough strength to stand and started limping towards the finish line. Out of the stands, a man came running and pushed past the security guards. He raced up to Derek and hugged him. “You don’t have to do this,” Jim Redmond told his weeping son. “Yes, I do,” Derek answered. “Well, then,” his father said, “we’re going to finish this together.” As Derek’s father held his son, they limped towards the finish line to complete the race. The crowd stood to applaud a son’s determination and a father’s support.
Isn’t that what’s it’s all about? As we go along, father’s and son’s, we jockey between a time when all we want to be is our father. All we want to do is what he does. Then we reach an age when we want to be our own person and do our own thing. The circle continues, and we have son’s of our own. We become our father’s and our son’s want to be what we are and do what we do. Knowing all of that, I guess I have one wish for Father’s Day this year. I wish for the kind of courage that this father had to do what it took to support his son. The kind of strength he had to carry him, not only physically, but emotionally, to the finish line. The kind of love that he had to say “we’re going to finish this together.” After all, it’s the kind of parents I had growing up. It would only be appropriate for me to teach the same to my son. Happy Father’s day to all of you dads out there. Let’s all do our best to “finish this together”.