My wife and son are two incredible people. Today they cooked me breakfast, gave me a new Avengers and Star Wars T-shirt, and a coffee mug. After church, they took me out to lunch. The place we ate at had a life-size connect four set. I lost to my son when we played.
I often find myself reflecting on my dad and what he taught me.
One of my earliest memories of my Father involved candy, Pluto Mickey Mouses dog, and a red balloon. We were returning from a trip to the mall, and when I got out of the car, I accidentally let go of my red balloon. I remember my Father chasing it as floated away. As a five-year-old, I was upset that I lost a balloon, today I know it wasn’t about the balloon, but it was my dad caring about how I felt he chased it for me.
I recall when I was in 8th grade, he took me to purchase a new suit for my solo and ensemble performance. He expressed to me the importance of dressing like a professional.
My Father died when I was 17. I was 37 when I became a dad, so for twenty years, Father’s Day to me stirred the emotions of sadness, loss, grief, indifference, and at times, longing.
When I became a Father, the other emotions made room for joy. For the last few years, the pleasure of being a Father has sat next to the grief and sorrow and taught me how to draw positive memories from them. Now I look back and think of my Father, and I miss him dearly. Yet I appreciate and marvel at him and all he accomplished. He fought in World War 2. He grew up in Alabama and experienced a level of racism that is only reserved for history books. He worked for over forty years as a rural mail carrier and modeled a work ethic that he passed down to me. I recall him telling me that it didn’t matter where I worked or what I did, but he said always give you best, give 100 percent.
He would paraphrase this quote- by MLK- “If a man is called to be a street sweeper. He should sweep streets even as a Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all hosts of heaven and earth pause to say; Here lives a great sweeper who did his job well “.
I miss my dad. Wish he could’ve been around to see me graduate from college, to have been able to meet my wife Kim and my son Jordan. Many times I sit and wish that I could get his advice or ask questions about a life issue.
One item I would like to pass on.
Learn to receive the love of the people around you while they are around. Pause and fully take in each moment that you have, appreciate the sites, the sounds, the beauty that surrounds you. If someone you love is no longer around find the moments of appreciation and take them in. The lessons my dad tried to teach me when I was in my teens, I wasn’t ready to receive them in my teens. I know understand they were seeds, seeds the continued to grow inside of me. Today I understand and comprehend more and more of what he was trying to do for me.