A Father’s Day note about Dad.

2012/06/17

A month ago, I lionized my mother in this space. Our society has little trouble singing the praises of mothers, whether it’s a quick “Hi, Mom” to her when we find ourselves on television or the grand expressions of appreciation on Mother’s Day.

But fathers are rarely put on this pedestal. The ones in pop culture are frequently played for fat, goofy clowns next to their comparatively trim, capable wives. The ones in real life are too often absent either physically or emotionally.

I don’t have that problem. My father LeRoy is a great man, without whom that mother I lauded last month wouldn’t be half the woman she is.

He’s been married for more than 40 years to just one woman. In a modern era in which divorce is all too common, he’s achieved one of the ultimate status symbols, one that cannot be bought with money but with hard work and great fidelity: The long-term marriage.

That union led to two superb sons, of which I’m the first. People say I look just like my father, which is a good thing, because he’s good-looking. If not for his more salt than peppered hair, people might mistake him for a much younger man — and probably still guess too low on his actual age.

The man can probably still beat me in an arm-wrestle.

He’s not only brilliantly smart (Harvard MBA) but also excellent with his hands. I’ve saved many, many dollars on car maintenance and repair because he showed me how to check the oil and change a tire. More than that, he showed me how to do basic diagnostic on car problems so that I never go into a car shop blind without at least a hint of an idea what the actual problem is. 

Just as my mom is great in spiritual matters, so is Dad. He’s a deacon at our church, ever-faithful, ever-dutiful. But his Christian life doesn’t stop there. He lives it in everyday life and in his efforts to reach and mentor younger men in matters of life and to introduce them to the God of the universe.

He’s an awesome uncle, brother and son-in-law. He’ll make an awesome father-in-law once either I or my brother marries. 

Speaking of which, he’s working on his first book. It’s about a set of questions that a person MUST get answers to before marriage — or, if it’s a bit too late for the “before” part, questions that a couple can use as a diagnostic to address problems in the marriage.

See, he’s got that long-term one that qualifies him as somewhat of an expert on staying married despite not asking enough questions himself.

In my last blog, I wanted all of you who will ever read this blog to know how I became the great man I am and am still growing to become. I said it was because of Mom, and that’s true. But the only way she could be that Mom is because of Dad. And he’s the biggest reason short of God that I’m the man I am. 

Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you!

 
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