In most countries, the third Sunday of June every year is Father's Day. Many fathers receive gifts, cards and other expressions of appreciation and gratitude from their children.

For 只石昌幸 Masayuki Tadaishi (@kodawari_ceo), representative director of the fitness product brand VALX and founder of Leverage Inc., the gratitude he felt for his father took the form of an ad posted on the platform of a local train station.

It was a letter to his departed father. This is what he wrote:

“Hey Dad, we’re getting listed on the stock market, so live another three years.”

Do you remember those words I blurted out in the hospital room two days before you passed away?

I just wanted you to live as long as possible. But sorry, the truth is I wasn't thinking at all about getting listed at the time.

It seems I have a habit of saying wild things and throwing wild pitches.

Remember when we used to play catch when I was little?

It wasn’t even “catch,” was it? From the very first pitch, I’d throw the balls way off target, and you’d go somewhere looking for them. I keep thinking about that recently for some reason.

"Don't just start a business.” That was one of your favorite phrases.

It’s no wonder, since the company that both you and mom’s grandparents founded went bankrupt.

You wanted me to study so that I could get into a good college and a good company, so you made me stay in the study room.

I guess you thought I would study since there was no TV or video games, but I'm sorry to say I read books instead of studying.

But because I got into the habit of reading books back then, I was able to enter Takasaki High School. That's how I got to where I am today.

I am grateful for that. Thank you.

I ended up quitting the listed company that I had joined after graduating and then leaving Gunma Prefecture.

For all that time afterward, I'm sorry I never told you I quit. But you knew, didn’t you.

I was surprised when Mom told me, "Your father knows everything. He knows you quit that company and then started up your own.”

There’s one more thing I must apologize for.

When I heard that you’d had an aortic dissection, what I felt was relief.

I had to give a talk the next day in front of a large audience for the first time, and I was so nervous about it. I thought I’d found a reason to cut it short.

I'm sorry for being such a miserable son.

I ended up giving that talk. I was supposed to speak for 2 hours, but I finished it in 30 minutes.

I had nothing to say, so I just talked about you and how you’d fallen ill the day before.

Some people listened to me with tears in their eyes.

Thank you for making it through a condition with a low survival rate and living for 15 more years.

That day I blurted out to you that we’d get listed, both my mindset and my company's situation changed forever.

Now I have 74 colleagues working with me and we’ve developed into a company selling over 500 million yen of protein a month.

We’re all working hard to get listed in the next two years.

Mom said that, after I graduated, you always bought shares in the company that I worked at but isn't it exciting to be able to buy shares on the stock market in a company that your son made?

On the day we get listed, I'm going to ring that bell as hard as I can so the sound will reach you.

I don't think you can buy stocks in heaven, but if I see you there, I want to take you on a trip and drink protein with you as my way of saying thanks for investing in me for all these years.

Masayuki Tadaishi, Representative Director, VALX

Twitter account of Masayuki Tadaishi (@kodawari_ceo)

Reproduced with permission from 只石昌幸 Masayuki Tadaishi (@kodawari_ceo)

"I dedicate this ad to Kenji Tadaishi, who passed away on June 4th, 2020."

Reproduced with permission from 只石昌幸 Masayuki Tadaishi (@kodawari_ceo)

The ad is currently posted in both platforms of the JR Takasaki Station and the Jōshin Dentetsu Takasaki Station. Tadaishi also had one posted in the gym at Takasaki High School.

Tadaishi started up his own company and has been working hard every since towards his goal of getting it listed on the stock exchange.

Sadly, his father passed away before that could happen but just as he did while he was alive, he's surely rooting for his son from heaven and will be listening for that bell on IPO day.

By - Ben K.