This entry was modelled after Chapter One of Marcus Aurelius's Meditations. The original post was created 10 years ago as a Facebook post. I've taken the opportunity to update it and republish it here.
Today I honour the men in my life who have taught me what it is to be a man.
To my Step-Father, George Arthur Daw, who showed me that order, discipline, love and joy can all live together in the same heart.
To my Father-In-Law, William Arthur Lindley, who demonstrated patience, forgiveness, a thirst for knowledge, humble wisdom, but most of all, that family is first in a man's heart.
To my Grandfather, Gérard Aurèle Laflamme, through whose example of hard work, diligence and inventiveness, I understand the value of persistence and perseverance. His legacy serves as a reminder that there is no shame in any honest work if it is accomplished with integrity.
To my three brothers, Tex, Guy, and André, who have each shown in their own way that there is love, joy and celebration even amongst the struggles and uncertainties of life. They have taught me what the brotherhood of men really means.
To my three brothers-in-law, David, Ian, and Jim, who by their own lives have shone a light on the stages of raising a family so that I may choose my own way with confidence.
To my sons-in-law, Joshua and Erick, who have taught me by their example that fatherhood comes in many different shapes and sizes, so long as there is love and understanding.
To my own son, Adam, who has shown me that success as a father of a boy is not measured by creating a copy of oneself, but rather that his son has become a good man in his own right and in his own way. Also, there are no bounds to the pride and pleasure one man can feel in the accomplishments of another.
All these men, and many others, have formed about me a community of strength and tenderness, of trust and diligence, of life, love and a firm determination to find the best in myself and to express it. To all of them, I say with the deepest gratitude, Thank You, and may I make you proud to know me.