Happy Father’s Day to all the great men in my life!!! Dad, Vinnie, “Big Vin”, Danny, Russell, Rich, Joe!
I got up and quickly debated about which mass to go to. I decided I had 15 minutes to get to 7:30am mass in Fairfield, so off I went to Holy Family! It sounded like a good name for a church on Father’s Day! I didn’t know it was the Celebration of the Holy Trinity (made sense now…..3 “big guys” – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – all wrapped up in one – on Father’s Day!!!).
I slipped in at 7:30, right behind the priest who had just started his journey to the altar, and found a place in a pew towards the back on the church.
About 5 minutes into the Mass, I realized I knew the man across the aisle and up one row. It was Al Svelnys from my school who had retired years ago. A man, I had hosted a retirement party for. A man who had been beside me all the way along my professional career path! I love this guy!
During Mass, I thought about how I was meant to see Al at church today; a day where we celebrate the men in our lives. I thought about my two lives: personal and professional. I thought about how I am who I am because of so many men! In fact, many of the men in my personal life played a secondary role to the female mentors I had, but, in my professional life, it is the men who have been my biggest mentors.
Personally – there is my father, my Uncle John, Jesse, my Uncle Bobby and Uncle Donnie, Pop Sauer, Leighton Roberts, Mr. Gray, and so many others. All of them helped shape me.
With the exception of my father, though, the other men were only in my life because of the WOMEN they were attached to in many ways. It was the woman, my mother and her friends, who organized events to pull us together, or put dates on the calendar that would create time for us all to be together. They were the ones I think of often as a wife and mother, sister and friend.
Professionally, however, I can list many men who cheered me on, supported me, and tapped my talents in ways I didn’t know were possible….Phil Nelson, Bob Laber, Don Saltus, Don Fiftal, Al Svelnys, Steve Falcone….so many guys who have created opportunities for me to grow professionally.
Seeing Al today at Mass made me feel at peace knowing there are many men, who have believed in me both personally and professionally. All of them deserve my praise, my recognition, and my thanks!!
I pray every day that the sons I have brought into this world will have an impact on others that rival the impact that all of these various men have made on my life!
Happy Father’s Day to all the men who have touched my life in one way or another.