I never knew what a charmed childhood I had until I got older and heard about others who did not have the same. My parents were always there for us like we were there for each other. I also learned not all dads were like mine.

Mom, Sandy, Me, Dad
Don Rivers

My dad still puts family first. He always did. My dad and mom did everything for the family and always treated us fairly. No kids was more special or loved that the others. We were all special in their eyes. My dad got up and went to work every day ... then came home to his family. We always ate dinner together. We vacationed together. We played together. We watched TV together. We were a family.

I now know how hard that is. I now know that just keeping a marriage together takes compromise and sacrifice. I now know how much moms and dads sacrifice for their kids. I know how hard it is to discipline your kids and teach them even when that discipline is breaking your heart. There were five of us kids. I know what kind of planning and budgeting it takes to raise five kids. My mom and dad never did selfish things with their money or time. Everything went toward the family.

My dad was tough when it came to morals, honesty, manners and work ethic. He taught us to do everything to the best of our ability. He taught us to be fair and kind to those in need. He taught us to do the job right the first time.He taught us the importance of God in our lives (and that we better behave in church LOL) All of these lessons are invaluable. In other words ... he was and still is a great dad.

My dad is still the person I call when I really need advise. Recently I thought my wife and I might need to raise one of our nieces. It was weighing heavily on me because my wife and I are finally at the point where we can travel and do things without the responsibility of children. I ask my dad what he thought about it and he said "what do you think St Peter will say about it when you are at the pearly gates?" That's why I love my dad so much.

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