I guess I am a bit of a sap and very sentimental at times but as Popeye said “I yam what I yam. (Chk, Chk, Chk) My dear friend Jerry Collum use to say, “We are composites of the deposits others have made in our lives”. My daughter said the other day, “My God dad you are turning into pawpaw”. It was a backhand because of something I had said or did but I thought, “Oh how good it would be to hear dads’ voice or to sit at the table again and have a cup.”
With all the trauma involved in 50 years of Church life I could still sort out more while sitting by my dad on a 5gallon bucket, dangling my feet in the Neches River than any amount of counsel could afford me. The atmosphere was almost always shaded yet the best place to get things in the light. No judgment from dad as I analytically broke down painful Church matters. Dad would rarely give advice on the particulars. Yet, he faithfully pointed me to prayer and the goodness of the Lord. His sameness year in and year out comforted me then, as it does now.
Dad wouldn’t patronize me. However, even when correcting me, he never rejected me. In the last days of his life we had a very hard family bump to get over. The discussion became rather heated as we are “Black Irish, German, ???” We slept on the matter and promptly Monday morning as was his custom, dad called. “Son, I’ve prayed about the matter and you are right. I was wrong.” His words were broken as I heard him sob. “Please forgive me son”. I was already crying, “Dad no need to forgive you. There is nothing in my heart bad toward you. I am glad the matter is resolved between us.” I saw this painful set of circumstances drain dad’s strength. He mentioned to my brother how tired he was. At 85 years old, after a good barbeque sandwich with mom, they laid down for a nap. He turned to her, kissed her, told he loved her and mentioned something was going wrong in his body. Within minutes my dad was gone.
I won’t blame all my negative traits on dad. Yet, I want to thank him for his love for me, for his sameness, for being my sounding board, for never rejecting me, for pointing me to the Lord, for telling what I needed to hear not what I wanted to hear, for working out problems, for calling me on Mondays, for crying when it was needed, for faithfully loving my mother till the moment he died. I may…. be becoming my dad? I hope it’s the good stuff that sticks. I love you and God bless you Dad for everything. Give Jesus and the Heavenly Father a hug for me. Happy Fathers Day 2010 to all.