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Paul W. Smith: Father’s Day without Mr. Hockey

Paul W. Smith

For those of us who have lost our dads, Sunday can be a very tough day, especially if it’s your first Father’s Day since your dad has passed.

I couldn’t help but think about that as I watched the Gordie Howe family, and especially Mr. Hockey’s kids, as they so graciously and courageously stood tall, and more times than not, were the comforters of people they had never met before, but shared their father with.

Mark Howe said Howe “had respect for every single person on this Earth. He never judged people. He accepted people for who they are, and I think that’s why he was such a beloved man ... as wonderful and as great a hockey player as he was, it could not hold a candle to the person he was as a man.”

What wonderful words from a son about his father, and how incredible to hear the same sorts of sentiments said by those having been lucky enough to meet Gordie Howe just once.

Dr. Murray Howe said at the overflowing funeral service that his dad was, in his final days, surrounded by friends and family.

“He knew he was loved. ... He left the world with no regrets.”

My dad’s jersey number will never be retired or hanging from the rafters, nor probably will yours.

But I am no less proud of William D. Smith, nor are you of your father.

The fact that we are now the dads being honored on Father’s Day offers us the challenge to set our own example to be remembered one day with the same reverence, joy and respect as Gordie is by his children.

Paul W. Smith is host of “The Paul W. Smith Show” on WJR-AM (760) from 5:30-9 a.m. Monday-Friday.