FATHER is what I AM.


In honor of FATHERS day I want to repost the letter I wrote to my first-born daughter way back in the 70″s. Some thing magical happened when I first held her in my arms. I can not explain it. I don’t know what happened but that 18-year-old boy from the south Bronx was changed for ever. I was shaking and emotional. She was the most AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL thing I had ever seen. I can still smell her. I can’t explain how great that baby smell is if you have never had a child but trust me it is wonderous! And you will NEVER forget it. I remember staring at her for hours and then I felt myself tingling and knowing that I was changing some how I can’t explain it, I just knew something was happening. I held her close to me so I could whisper in her ear and that’s when I told her. “I DEDICATE MY LIFE TO YOU.” And so began my journey to becoming a FATHER. And over the next couple of years I came to understand what being a father was and i put a pen to paper and this is the letter I wrote.

Father… What is a father? For me it is who I am, what I am, what I want to be, what I need to be. It is the responsibility I live for. I will not apologize for being a father, for being the adult when the situation calls for it. I will make the decision I belive is the right one as your father, not as your friend. I will love you unconditionally. I will protect you till my last breath. I will respect you and demand you respect me. I will financially support you. I will emotionally encourage you to dream to believe in the greatness that is inside you. I will push you to be the best you can be, what you want to be , not who I want or think you should be. I will accept your individuality, your life style choices, I will never judge you. I will just love and support you. I will educate you-not because I am more intelligent than you, but because I am more experienced than you, because I have already made the mistakes and learned from them and I want to share them with you to help you avoid repeating them. This I swear to you! This I promise! I dedicated my life to you the day you were born. You will always be my first and only priority. I will never raise my hand to you. I will never abandon you. Because I AM A FATHER.

If you are a young man thinking about becoming a FATHER or already are a FATHER I encourage you to read my letter a few times and see if any of it can help you in your journey into FATHERHOOD. I do not claim it to be anything other than how I feel so please don’t take it as me preaching or saying that this is definitive. I just know that this is how I have lived my life. I have accomplished much in my life. From becoming a u.s.marine, to staying married for almost 40 years, to my many career accomplishments but nothing even comes close to being a good FATHER!

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20 Comments

Filed under Current events, Life, Marriage, Parenting

20 responses to “FATHER is what I AM.

  1. Lady of Shallotte

    This is beautiful. A letter I think every dad should read. It is a tribute to those dads not with us anymore. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. This was beautifully written and so inspirational! Happy Father’s Day to you!

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  5. Happy northern hemisphere Father’s Day. We have ours in September. Nice post and reflective of the unique bond between fathers and daughters. I have two sons, so know a bit about unique bonds.

  6. The letter said it all. Good one … perfect for Fathers’ Day. Happy Sunday …

  7. That is just the truest of things, Pete. So very well put. Happy Father’s Day on the cool side, mister.

  8. Pete, I don’t like this letter; I love it 🙂

  9. Great letter and rather insightful for a young lad. They (whoever they are) say actions speak louder than words, but by the power of those words….I know your actions must have been and still are pretty right on. And….if there was a time they weren’t….those words can certainly smooth it over.

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  11. Great piece, Pete.
    Did you ever show the letter to your daughter?
    Happy Fathers Day!

    • Guapo thank you. Great question. No I have not, and there are many reasons for it. Its a little complicated. I will try and share a few. 1st. I have 3 daughters and this letter is for them all. 2nd yes I wrote it after my first daughter but it was not meant for her it was meant for ME. 3rd I hope that when I am gone, they will read this letter and understand how much they meant to me and how hard I tried to live up to my responsibilities and how much I loved them. These are just a few I have many more. Like I said it is complicated in my mind. I am still trying to be a good father and this letter might change a bit more.

  12. I bet you are a rockin cool ass dad..hell of a father. Happy Fathers Day 🙂

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