I didn't get a lot of time with my father before he passed away while I was a teenager. I didn't really know him until I was eight years old and had to move in with him after my mother passed. He would send an occasional birthday gift but I don't know if I ever remembered his voice before then. When I lived with him, he was hardly home because he was working all the time. I had four other siblings so money was always an issue. That was fine, because I was feigning independence at my age. While I lived with him, I didn't reflect on what kind of dad he was and I guess that's a good thing, because he was just a typical dad.
Now that I'm older and have a son, I think about my father often. I draw parallels daily to memories I have of him. I hear him in my voice when I talk to Cassius, my one-year old. I think the biggest lesson I've learned through him is sacrifice. I've had to sacrifice my time, my attitude, and even my well-being if it meant that my son would be better for it. This isn't a new story, but it's new to me and the lessons are hitting hard. My father did what had to be done to provide, and I think that's an often overlooked aspect of fatherhood. My decision making and logic are more keen because I have to consider my son. I answer extensively: "Will this benefit my family?" And I believe this is when I hear my father's voice the loudest.