There are many lessons in life fathers teach their children. But only one necessary lesson. I bring this up because I failed in teaching this lesson and it hurts my soul.

My friends and family know of the torment I suffered at the loss of my sister Tara. I never said goodbye or that I loved her and those lack of finality still haunt me to this day, lesser now than in the past.

But I learned my lesson and make an effort each time to wish people as I leave their presence, my fond wishes of them. When my brother died in 2006 in a car accident, the last words I said to him was “I love you.” When he died, I had closure and peace. I am horrible at hand writing but my wonderful wife is very specific about thank you notes. She sends them like leaves in the wind in the fall.

Give thanks. It seems simple and easy but millennial’s bristle at the thought of thanking anybody. They think they deserve everything. I once had an intern who at the end of his internship ask me where his office would be when he got a job with our company. I told him offices weren’t handed out to starting employees and earned from hard work. He quit because he wasn’t getting an office.

Give me a break.

I try to tell my kids, my friends and even my family how much I care about them every chance I get. I never know if that one chance I fail to say it will be the one time they need it the most.

Simple words, but they have power and meaning. I Love You.

I Love You Joanna. I tell her it every day because my life without her had no meaning.

I Love You Shelby & Ryan. I tell them it every time we speak because I never know how long I will be on this earth.

I Love You Mom & Dad. Because as they are in their golden years, I’m not sure how many times I will get to tell them those words.

They are just words Sean, they don’t have any power.

Tell that to a son who wishes he could tell his dad Happy Father’s Day one more time.

Tell that to a daughter who wishes she could hold her mom tight one more time.

Words you say. They have more power than any hateful words you can think of. I can ignore hate, I can shuffle hate to ignorance. But you can’t ignore love. In your darkest days, in your miserable nights, love will always shine through.

Love means I understand you are eighteen and scared. It means I’ve been there too and I want you to learn from the mistakes I made so you don’t have to have the pain that I have. Your heart won’t hurt from being as broken as my has been.

Love is forever, so when you have determined my punishment is over I will be here.

Because I love you forever, that’s what father’s do.