"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Dads! Gotta Love 'Em!

Hmmm, Father’s Day has come again. A time to decide between a gift card to a Home Improvement store, a book, a new tie and handkerchiefs, or get really wild and find a wallet and matching key chain. I am fortunate to still have my Dad living up the street from me, so I know easily that none of the above is on his ‘most needed’ list. Of course, he would be gracious and kind and act like it was the first gift card or book he had ever received and it was a terrific idea. That is what makes my Dad, well, my Dad.

My Dad just turned 82 years old and is more active than most men half his age. Growing up, I remember him always being at work, being at church or being in the yard. He made sure my brother, sister and I always had a tree house, a go-cart, a rope swing or anything else that we wanted and could be built or made. He made our first skateboards out of 2x4 timber and separated roller skates. Of course, there were no turning abilities, you either went straight or you crashed. But, it would help us to “build character”.

He played sports with us at home and on church teams. Even when he was old enough to retire, he was still out there catching softballs. He taught us how to ride a bicycle usually consisting of setting us on the seat, pushing us down the yard and hollering for us to “hold on and pedal. Just pedal!” Somehow, after many bandages and antiseptic ointment tubes, I managed to make it a few houses down the street without falling off.

I guess as far as physical activities go, the two that have been constant in my Dad’s life is golf and bicycles. He still plays golf every week or so with some of his friends (I tend to call them the 'oldest men in the world' team) and he still rides his bicycle around the neighborhood. He decided a couple months ago that in honor of his turning 82 this summer that he would ride his bike for 82 miles. We calculated that to ride 82 miles around his cul-de-sac might tend to be a bit boring, so the family decided that the Silver Comet Trail would be a good option. Unfortunately, it was raining the week and day of his birthday and he was unable to ride. We could never tell whether he was glad or disappointed.

However, he did not give up on the idea and with the company of his sixteen-year old granddaughter he will head up to the Trail tomorrow morning (Friday, June 17). Their intent is not to necessarily ride 82 miles, but to spend the day doing two things that my Dad enjoys the most - riding his bike and spending time with his family.

As this time of the year comes, I think about how important my Dad has been in my life. We have locked horns quite a number of times during my life, but I knew that our disagreements did not dampen his love for me, nor mine for him. As I look back over the life of our family, his actions and motives were always to support and defend us. It was not always easy for us to understand that at the time, however looking back gives a clear picture. Thanks, Dad, for always loving me; no matter how odd you thought I might be at times. I Love You.


At 4:59 AM, Blogger SDMemoirs said...

Great Post!
Nice to know how loving our Heavenly Father is - to place Dads and Moms in a family. They indeed are pillars and reflections of God's wonderful self.

At 11:14 PM, Blogger Pauly said...

Thanks, Jimmy, your post is restoring my belief that there are others out there with great dads.

At 4:26 PM, Blogger militaryman said...

I wish my Dad were still around for me to write a tribute to him. He was a great provider and friend.


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