I'm remembering my Dad on his birthday today, and how he was always a strong supporter and cheerleader for me and us kids.
Just before turning 12, I and few others received our Arrow of Light award, marking our graduation from Cub Scouts. The presentation of awards was done where each scout had to hold their arms out straight in front and balance an arrow across the first fingers of each hand for as long as physically possible. Us scouts made a contest of out of it, but we soon began whimpering as our strength starting giving out. Our scout leaders had each of our parents standing behind us, and with our strength at it's end, held up our arms with theirs. This was to help illustrate how our strength is multiplied with the support of loving parents in accomplishing meaningful goals.
My parents each continued to show that same support all through my life, even by saying "No" on occasion. And that has made all the difference for me.
Even with declining health and when my Dad could no longer stand on his own, the strength of his support never wavered. His encouraging influence continues to be felt in my life, well after he has passed.