DEAR READERS: Several years ago, Richard J. Kent, a retired colonel who served in the U.S. Air Force, sent me a poem he'd written as a tribute to his father. I have kept it in my book of special treasures. Today I'm sharing it in honor of fathers, stepfathers and grandfathers everywhere. Read on:
A BELATED GRACE
by Richard J. Kent, Springfield, Va.
Make me half the man my father was
And I'll know that I've been blest.
Give me half his courage and loving care
And a kingdom I'll possess.
When I was young and foolish
I heard but I didn't hear
His words of wisdom, his sound advice,
The need to persevere.
When I grew older and wiser,
I saw what I hadn't seen:
His strength to cope with adversity
And do it with dignity.
No need for the Ten Commandments
When I came to a fork in the road.
I had only to think what he would have done
And again, he'd carry my load.
Make me half the father to my two sons
As the father he was to me
And I know that I will rest at peace