Editor’s note: This column was written by Linda Wilk, as an installment in her “A Slice Of Life” column in the Chronicle Tribune in Marion, Ind. She is formerly of York.

I am truly blessed to have two incredible men in my life to celebrate this Father’s Day.

I have the best role model for myself and my children I could ask for. As a child I knew my dad was always there for me, just like my mom.

I remember as a child my dad taking me to the vacant lot a block from our house and trying to teach me softball. I played for a couple years in elementary school, but nothing you would call great.

My husband similarly placed a home base plate in our back yard, bought a plastic bat and ball and worked with all three of our girls – none took up softball in an organized way either.

Neither, my dad or my husband were the over bearing dad that insisted or forced their daughter(s) to play a sport. My dad would have been ecstatic if I had played on a team in high school, however for us my brother filled that role nicely.

And my husband, I know was ecstatic when Andrea and Marissa did play basketball and soccer through high school and Andrea threw in track. (He was also excited for Laura who played basketball in junior high and one year of high school soccer) Larry even learned enough about soccer to coach Andrea and Marissa’s elementary team a couple years.

It isn’t just sports that makes these two men incredible men though.

It is the role models that each have been for me and my children all these years.

My dad was the strong silent type growing up. I think it is his German heritage that just didn’t allow him to let down his hair, so to speak. While he didn’t joke or cut up with us, he and my mom instilled in me strong values – the importance of working hard and my strong Christian faith.

He is, and always has been, solidly grounded in his faith and never missed church, despite working two weeks of days and two weeks of nights.

Besides my dad having such a wacky work schedule, he also had odd days off work – Monday and Tuesday. I remember spending many a summer week day going camping and fishing and canoeing. Memories I will always cherish. The camping was something my children also got to experience as each summer I would take my girls back home to Nebraska where we would load up the camper and canoe and explore a campground somewhere in Nebraska.

I remember my daughters a bit unsure of the canoe and its capabilities of staying afloat – given it was the same canoe we used when I was there age. We never however sank and had many wonderful canoe rides.

That is one area my husband and dad part ways – Larry being a golf course superintendent and out in the elements all day long, has never been one to camp.

He makes up for that in other ways, as he took each of the girls to the golf course with him to work and play golf as children.

My dad and husband are similar in other ways as well. They are both incredibly skilled wood workers and able to fix about anything.

They also have an incredible sense of humor – something I didn’t see much of my dad growing up, however, thankfully with my children it has certainly come to light.

We have photos of my dad with my girls wearing their sunglasses sporting a big old grin. And my husband has a quick wit about him that can make anyone feel comfortable and at ease.

They are both strong Christian men as well and incredible role models for our children.

Neither raises their voice, and both know just what to say to remind me how much I am loved, even if the words are not often verbalized

As we celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, I am incredibly honored to call my dad, DAD and my husband, DAD to our three girls. I know there are many women and children who are not as fortunate as I am and for them I would ask that if there is another male role model in their lives who can step in the gap, to please do so. You see, I know because of my work in domestic violence, the incredibly powerful influence of a positive role model.

So again, thank you to my father who instilled in me what characteristics a good husband should be, and to my husband for being that incredible partner for me and devoted father for our children.

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