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Celebrating Father’s Day

#First3YearsCelebrates   #SpecialMomentsThatLastALifetime

My father was super smart, handsome, and a gentleman. He adored my mother and they were married for 62 years. My mother was the social one in the relationship and taking care of my father along with five children was her priority. My father was not a patient man in his younger years! During the last 10 years of my mother’s life, she developed Alzheimer’s Disease.  This disease is truly the long goodbye. I watched in awe as the roles reversed in my parents marriage and witnessed a softening in my father’s demeanor..  My father cared for my mother, patiently answering the same questions she asked repeatedly. My dad talked to my mom like she would remember what he said to her. He started doing the cooking and made sure she had her hair done every week!  I did not know this side of my father existed! Eventually, my parents moved to Dallas so they could be closer to me and other family members.  This was a blessing for me as I was able to help with my mother’s care and also have quality time with my father. This time with both of my parents was such a gift. My father and I became very close in the last few years of my mother’s life as we shared in her caregiving. I learned so much about my father and I was so blessed to have such quality time with him.  We had fun together and he loved my husband. After my mother died, I continued to spend quality time with my father and had three great years with him before he died.  I had always been close to my mother. Getting to know my father later in his life was a surprise and a wonderful gift, providing me with great memories of our time together.

– Anne Calhoun Duffy, First3Years Board Member

My Father means the world to me because when I look down at my hands typing, I see my father’s hands. When I see myself showing love and respect to others, I see my father showing love and respect to others. When I make positive contributions to society, I see my father doing the exact same thing.  I find myself doing these things because I realize that I became a man at my father’s feet, mostly by watching, imitating and listening. Some of the many things my father taught me is the value of a dollar, how to treat and respect women, and how to have confidence and take pride in myself. One of the most important things I’ve learned from my father is that a major characteristic of a man is his desire to spend himself in a worthy cause, to make contribution. I enjoy having Marvel & DC comic book discussions as well as playing basketball and tennis with him and I know he likes doing the same things. The connection and bond I have with my Father is unbreakable and despite the positive contributions that you made in my life, I still feel that you along with other great fathers don’t get the credit and recognition you all deserve. I thank God every day for putting you in my life.

– Aaron Fields, Just Beginning Coordinator

Music is a very big deal throughout my family and someone is always making music in one way or another. Though I am not a great singer, I love when my Dad pulls out his guitar and asks me to accompany him with vocals. Sitting in the living room singing old rock covers and folks songs will always stay with me.

– Ashley Borthick, First3Years Engagement Coordinator

My dad taught me to love the water and it’s still a favorite past time for us. From an early age, I have endless memories of us playing together in the pool and at the lake.  He taught me how to waterski. Today, it’s still one of our favorite places to spend time together, connecting and relaxing. Especially rewarding is seeing  him welcome the next generation of Funks enjoy the water like we do in the way he plays with my niece (3) and nephew(18 months).

– Sadie Funk, First3Years CEO

Friend, Protector, Comedian, Anchor, Mentor. The list of descriptors I would use for my dad goes on. He has always been there for me, supporting me through all the seasons of my life. He has taught me to be strong and confident and kind. He has made me double over in laughter in one moment and shake my head in another in answer to the corniness that it seems only dads can pull off. I am enormously thankful for my dad’s guidance and unwavering love. Undoubtedly, I would not be in the good place I am today without him. 

– Isabel Tanco, First3Years Project Coordinator

Do more, do better. “It’s OK”. Never give up. As a young lawyer in Laos – one of the first from his very small hometown to make it to the “big city” Dad knew hardships. So he wanted to best for me growing up. At my grad school graduation, Dad told me over the phone, “So, now… PhD?” That is the running joke in my family. My father does not travel, he likes to take life as it comes. So when rough waters hit my way, I always think–it’s ok, ride with the waves. In Laos, after the end of the war, my dad was separated not by choice from the family. After 5 years, we were reunited. Through it all, he knew he would see me and Mom again.

– Soudary Kittivong-Greenbaum, First3Years Dir. of Advancement

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