This is what they will remember:

You, watching them swim,
laughing at their antics while they call out, "Dad, look at this!"

You, smiling at their joyful noise
that disturbs the herons and sends the fishermen scattering.

You, tirelessly patient as you teach them how to
tie a lure, inflate a tube, wakeboard, and play ping pong.

You, and your enthusiastic yes.
Sure, I'll take you out on the boat.  Great, let's play pool.
I'd love to have your help making pancakes.
You want to go to the dock?  Let me grab my swimsuit.

This is what I will remember:

Your eyes crinkling while you watch them play, 
always, always calling out "ready!" then witnessing their latest trick.

You, smiling at their giggles as they try to surf the wake,
bobbing up and down on the waves like corks,
then laughing with them as they crash into the water.

Your kind and gentle spirit enveloping each one,
encouraging them to try something new, patiently teaching them
until you see the glimmer of success in their eyes.

You, marking time by the love you share with our kids.
The yes you give even when the day is long and demands are many.
Your open heart that says yes to theirs as they reach out to spend time
with the man they love more than any other.

These are the things we will remember...
The love, the love, the love.

- ljh  6/26/16