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In Honor of My Father

DaddyYouthfulIt’s Father’s Day and I’m blessed to have a lot of wonderful fathers in my life. I have a good father-in-law, although he lives in Tacoma, WA, and he’s getting on up there in years and doesn’t travel anymore, so I don’t see him much. I’m grateful to him for giving life to his son, Leon, with whom I have chosen to spend the rest of my life.

Then, there’s my awesome son, who is the wonderful daddy to three of the most marvelous little boys on the face of the earth. Of course, his incredible wife makes it easy for him because she’s the best mommy ever.

Then, I have two brothers who have raised some great kids. I am actually enjoying my adult nieces and nephews more than I ever thought possible. I guess I thought they’d always be loud obnoxious little people. Now most of them are parents.

And let me not forget my own dear Leon, who has been a loving step-father to my children for 25 years. He decided years ago that he didn’t like the term “step” father, so since he likes to sit on the porch a lot, my kids call him their “porch father.”

I still get sad thinking about it, but my own precious father moved to the other side of eternity 25 years ago. He’s missed knowing most of this “tribe” that he helped to start. There are now 14 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren and more due to be born this year. Including spouses and some “extra” kids that we all claim, there are more than 50 in our tribe.
Daddy would have loved it.

For several years after he died, I would buy special cards for him on Father’s Day, and just put them in the drawer and enjoyed what I would have said had he been here.

Here’s what my father gave to me:

  • An incredible confidence that I could do anything I wanted and do it well.
  • A knowledge that I was loved unconditionally every day of my life (my mother carries this on now…).
  • He passed on to me his love of books and learning.  Recently, we siblings were asked by my mother what things that had belonged to daddy we might like to go ahead and take out of the house.  All I could think of were his books.
  • He gave me an example of faithfulness to God and to his family, even when things were difficult and most people would have thrown in the towel.
  • He taught me to trust.
  • A love of music (and he paid for years of lessons so I could not only listen, but enjoy playing it for myself).
  • He demonstrated what it looks like to love one woman and in turn, take care of her and his large family.
  • A crazy sense of humor.

So, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there.  And to those of you who still have your dads here on earth — enjoy!