He use to take me fishing on the weekends when I was growing up. He worked out of town during the week so our weekends were special. We’d get up early in the morning, load our rods and boxes and head out. We usually went to Haulover Canal and picked out a nice quiet spot. Not too many people went there so it wasn’t hard to find a good place. As I look back, I wonder what we took to sit on. Back then they didn’t have those folding canvas type chairs. We probably turned over a bucket or stood most of the time. After all we both were a lot younger.
He is such a gentle soul. I remember he would bait my hooks depending on what we were using. I was a tom boy but some things I just would not do. He never laughed “at” me or made me feel bad about that. He encouraged me to try things on my own but was always there to help when needed. He taught me patience, humility and gentleness. I doubt he even realizes this.
I can always count on dad for any kind of help or brain storming. He has a natural mechanical mind and can come up with solutions to just about anything. As a kid I called them “Jerry-rigs”. Now I understand it to be slightly short of genius. Several things I would see him do as I watched him while growing up have since then become real actual things you can buy.
He has days when he feels regret for not being home more when we were kids. But he was a wonderful provider and spent his free time with his family and not in bars. I think he is a wonderful example of a dad. I couldn’t have asked for a better one. He stands up for us, he leads and guides us, he corrects us when we don’t exhibit the best behavior possible. He does all this and so much more with a loving and kind heart.
I don’t remember very many whippings from dad. But the ones I do remember, I deserved. He is an excellent judge of character. Many times he would point out things that weren’t kosher with my friends that would come around. I didn’t always like hearing such things, but I knew my dad had my best interest in mind.
We use to play chess often. He taught me how to when I was very young. I have yet to beat him. I don’t lose on purpose mind you but he is the master who taught me so I guess it is supposed to be that way. I also taught my children to play. They were such bad losers that I refused to play chess with them until they learned how to lose. We would play endless games of Tic-Tack-Toe. After a few weeks, they finally learned how to lose and just have fun. It was a strange strategy but it worked.
I wrote this in his birthday card last year:
“I wanted to write something eloquent and brilliant and smart. Something that tells you how much I appreciate you and how grateful I am for everything you have done for me and for everything you have taught me. For teaching me about Jesus and being a great example of His love. The best way I know to do that is to tell you that I love you!”
Now that Father’s Day is upon us I am grateful to still have him here with us.
Happy Father’s Day!
Stay safe and God bless.