On this USA Father's Day, I wanted to share an article (below) I wrote 4 years ago on this very same day.
grateful that I have a caring and beautiful family and the love that
surrounds me keeps my soul shining! In addition, I'm thankful for all my
male friends (most are fathers) who I count on for wisdom, inspiration
Happy Father's Day Gentlemen. I hope your day is filled with a big spoonful of love and gratitude!
Happy Gswede Sunday!
Honor your Father, Today and Everyday
(June 15, 2008)
On this American Father's Day (November in Sweden), thoughts of fatherhood are swirling in my head.
--- I will never forget the speech that a dear friend gave in
Pennsylvania at the funeral of his father. It was eloquent, funny and
moving. His words helped me tremendously when only a few years later I
was in the same position. He continues to inspire me.
--- Many of my friends have had children from 2005 -2008 and most of them are good fathers (not all unfortunately).
Those who do not take fatherhood seriously tend not to spend enough
time with their kids and/or don't put the child's best interests first.
They run life on their terms and the kids have to fit in. What a shame.
--- A childhood friend in Boston has inspired me as a person and as a
father. His young son has a serious illness that will take several years
to cure although he is doing better now. I think of his entire family
often. They have overcome some huge obstacles over the years. I cannot
imagine the pain of seeing one's precious child experiencing such an
-- Two of my friends in Sweden take the father role seriously. One has a
daughter that is wise beyond her years. On my first day of substitute
teaching a few years ago, she helped me organize and maintain composure
in the classroom. She was 9 years old! The second speaks of his daughter
in such a loving and passionate way. I have never heard someone show
such emotion when talking about a child.
--- The best boss I ever had is a wonderful father. We have had some
enriching conversations throughout the years. If you were to see him
with his two daughters, there would be no doubt in your mind about how
he is as a father. He has inspired me from the moment we met.
--- In late 2005, during the Xmas holidays, one of my childhood friends (and loving father of 3)
sent me an email about his father being sick. It was like a dagger to
the heart as I truly felt for him especially since I had recently lost
my father. His father died not long after his message to me. What I
loved about his father was the pure joy and pleasant nature he exuded!
He was a kind and decent man and I always felt better after being in his
--- Since an early age, I have had the privilege of spending time with and learning from one of my mother's cousins (like an uncle to me).
He consistently looked out for me in my career and his success in
business and life was invaluable to witness and hear about. His three
lovely daughters are very fortunate to have him as their father which I
am sure they know.
--- My first basketball coach has been like a father to me. Without his
care and teaching, I would have never reached the Division 1 heights in
college basketball. In addition, his life lessons during my teenage
years were very helpful. It brought me sincere joy to bring him over to
Sweden from 2005-2007 to inspire youth utilizing basketball as a tool.
--- My college basketball teammate is one of my dearest friends and
seeing him around his kids has been refreshing for me. I learned a lot
from him before I had children regarding the tough task of raising kids.
He was always frank with me and didn't sugarcoat his words which I
appreciated. I admire the father and man that he is.
--- One of my most interesting friends in NYC lost his father last year.
I only met him once but it was memorable. He was smart, cool and very
hip for being in his 70's. Everyone enjoyed his company on that summer
--- My high school basketball coach died in March 2007. He was
instrumental in preparing me for the rigors of college basketball. He
was 54 years old and had two sons. After speaking to him in January of
that year, he gave me some fatherly advice. He said "don't push your son
into sports if it is not something that he wants to do". Important
words for any father to hear.
--- The godfather of my son is a gentleman that I have known less than 5
years although it feels like I have known him for 20 years. He is a
good father and godfather and someone I always enjoy being around. He
has 3 boys so his insight and candidness about fatherhood have been
important to hear.
-- My father had a stroke in 2003. The last time he was
conscious was on Father's Day 2005 when my mother and cousin read a
letter to him that I wrote about fatherhood. I got choked up hearing
about his reaction as I was in Belgrade, Serbia at the time. He died in
July 2005. He was a good man and good father. As the years go by, I
realize how much I learned from him and how comforting it was hearing
Writing to a few friends this morning, I conveyed that we must all
continue to be be strong, value oriented, disciplined and loving fathers
that spend as much time with our kids as possible. In addition, our
children's best interests and well being should always be at the top of
We can even learn from the far too many absent and non-caring fathers
that surround us. I witnessed quite a few growing up and I instantly
knew that I didn't want to be like them.
It is important to have one or several father figures or mentors in your
life. If you do, talk to them, observe them and learn from them before
and after you have children. If you don't, be diligent in finding one
because life can be tough without the wise counsel and care of people
outside of mom and dad.
My mentors continue to inspire and benefit me.
Honor your father on this day and everyday. The best way to do that is
by being a good man, a good father, a good husband, helping others and
continuing to evolve as a person.
One never knows how long our father's or mother's will be around.
Happy Father's Day and Gswede Sunday!
Gswede and daughter Nova-Li.