Today is Father’s Day, and I wanted to share with my blogging friends the simple reality: I love my dad.
I know he’ll read this – not because he reads my blog – but because my mom does and will read it to him. More than likely, he’ll be reclined in his Lazyboy, and Mom will say, “Oh Gayle, Jeff wrote the most beautiful blog post for you for Father’s Day.” She’ll read this post, and he’ll tear up. He’s like his dad in that – he tears up when anything involving his kids or grandkids is shared with him. He can’t pray at holiday meals anymore without tearing up. I’m a little concerned I’ve inherited that trait as well. I caught myself tearing up during Big Hero Six this year.
He and mom celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary last year. His commitment to my mom and us as a family has provided us all with stability. I’ve inherited an amazing legacy. Both sets of my grandparents also celebrated 50th wedding anniversaries. (I broke out my tiger shirt for the anniversary pictures last year but was promptly rebuked by both my mom and wife. I did manage to talk them into one picture before being forced to change.)
My dad taught me how to laugh – often and at everything. That trait was either passed on genetically or learned, and it’s gotten me into and out of trouble my entire life. My dad finds joy in some of the simplest things – a good book, movie, or a passing thunderstorm. I’m grateful that I learned joy from one of the most laughter-laden humans I know.
Another highlight was last April’s trip to Washington D.C. Mom and Dad had come to vist us in Virginia from Arkansas, and as a side trip treat, I took Dad to D.C. – just the two of us. We saw as many sights as we could cram into two days. He’s a history buff, so hearing some of the stories of our nation from his memory and perspective was insightful. His love for ice cream was an added plus on the trip because it gave us an excuse to stop at every vendor we saw.
Another thing my dad has apparently passed down is dish washing. I’m a third generation dish washer. His dad washed dishes after my grandmother would kick up a meal. Dad washed dishes after my mom’s meals. Now I wash dishes and clean the kitchen after meals that Carolyn makes. Unfortunately, I think the family legacy ends with me. Sam still doesn’t realize the silver nozzle on our sink has water in it that can rinse off the dirty dishes he leaves in the sink. (Note to his future wife: we’re sorry.)
For as long as I’ve been alive, my dad has loved me extravagantly. There’s never been a question of his love. He’s loved me through discipline. He’s loved me through gifts. He’s loved me through hugs and tears. He’s loved me through prayer. He’s loved me through unsolicited advice. He’s loved me through rambling stories. He’s loved me through unyielding support. He’s loved me through monthly support checks (yes, my mom and dad still send money). He’s loved me through every single season of my life.
Most importantly, my dad’s love was conducive and instrumental in revealing to me God the Father’s love. It was my earthly dad that sat on the edge of my bed when I was seven and prayed with me while I asked forgiveness from my heavenly Dad and received eternal life. My dad ushered me humbly to the throne room of his Heavenly Father and graciously introduced me to the One who has been his great love all his life.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. Thank you.