… you never really know how your words or actions will affect your children. What will they say about you when you’re gone? What moment will they remember? What will they tell their children about you? … the most precious things a father can provide are time, attention, and love. For about six months, [in preparation for this book about remembering our fathers] I read hundreds of letters and emails every day but I can’t remember a single one that said ‘My father gave me every material thing I wanted’ or ‘what I remember about my dad is the TV he bought me’. What we remember about our fathers has nothing little or nothing to do with material objects. We remember the time they gave us – whether indirectly [through hard work] or in more conventional ways – time spent providing advice, telling a bedtime story, or simply showing up for a recital, spelling bee, or an athletic event. There’s a reason one of these chapters is called, “Being there”.
-Tim Russert [1950-2008], an excerpt from his book, The Wisdom of our Fathers
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