Miele’s Musings: Father’s Day

BY PUBLISHER EMERITUS ARMAND MIELE

I was fortunate enough to have both my natural parents raise me. I saw the sacrifices they both made, and I honor them every day for living up to their principals.

We lived on my father’s sole salary in those days. My mother carried five children in her womb, nine months each, and she had the never-ending daily needs of the household to worry about. It was my father’s job to see that those necessities were provided. He worked at all hours to keep the family. My parents sacrificed and dedicated their lives to us children, for their beliefs and their family values.

I remember as a child I would often see my mother depressed and I wondered why. I now know that there was just never quite enough, and that sometimes she wondered whether my father would be able to provide the next meal. My brothers and I sometimes opened the icebox, looking for something to eat, and my mother would shout, “Shut the door! The ice will melt!” But she wasn’t really worried about the ice. The real reason she shouted was that there was never enough food in the icebox. Sometimes I know she didn’t eat, to make sure we five children had enough. What could she do, and what could my father do? This was the Great Depression. He was doing as much as he humanly could.

The concerns today are a little different, but a father’s struggle is basically the same: how to provide for your family. As a father I know that young families wanting a good lifestyle suddenly find out that taxes are their worst enemy. Sometimes the financial pressures get to be too much, and threaten to break up the family. Federal, state, county, school, town and village taxes, sales and MTA taxes, we could go on and on. The taxes just keep rising while a father’s salary is fixed, or not rising enough to keep up. One salary no longer pays the bills. The older children might pitch in, as we did when I was young, but it is more likely the mother who will get a job or start a small business, just to pay the taxes taken out of her husband’s salary, to keep the family comfortable.

I would encourage any couple to start a small business, if they have a chance. It’s easier for a couple than for the wife on her own. A mother already has a full-time job, just as her husband does! But pitching in together, a husband and wife can often start up a business without the husband having to quit his fulltime job. Children also can help. Just look around and notice small companies starting out in real estate, travel, insurance, retail, etc. It works, because one spouse will always attend the business, and you don’t have to hire costly help.

Father’s Day is a day for great pride among us men who have worked with our spouses through thick and thin, and had the fulfillment of seeing our families thrive through our efforts. We remember our wedding days and our marriages to wonderful wives. This is the day we should renew our commitment to our marriage vows, and recognize that without our wives we would not be the strong, capable men that we are today.

Let’s give Daddy a big hug today! He has stood with by his children, doing his best to put his family first. He may have scolded or been grim at times, but he was not always an old man. He remembers being a child, with a child’s needs and a child’s inability to understand that not everything is possible. Even though he knows it’s impossible to give you everything, he wishes he could.

God bless our fathers and our families this Father’s Day!