This Sunday is the day we set aside to honor Dads. It used to be that “Father Knows Best”, and he was respected and honored by his family as a result. Today it is much more common to belittle them, to make them feel degraded and stupid. I want to set aside time today to honor the two men who have influenced us the most – my father and father-in-love.
My Dad passed away in 2004, only 4 weeks after his 81st birthday. I miss him so much. If he were here these are the things I would tell him I appreciated most about him.
- His love for family – My dad was a romantic at heart. I think I am a lot like him. 🙂 He loved bear hugs and time with all of us. He loved our times spent around the piano most. My sister would play as we would sing. The Holy City was his all-time favorite song. I share it with you here as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and full orchestra.
- His love for people – He was a pharmacist and owned the neighborhood drug store down the street from our home. It had a soda fountain and lunch counter with some of the best food you can imagine. My favorite was the hamburgers and fries. His customers felt loved and understood, and they would often call him first for advice when needed.
- His work ethic – My dad worked 6 days a week for as long as I can remember, and he rarely took time off for vacation. Yet I never heard him complain. This was his job, but it was more than that. It was his passion. He loved working hard to help the customers who called him, “Doc Gray”.
- His love for God and the church – Even though my dad worked 6 days each week, Sundays were always for church and choir practice. He loved to sing, serve as a deacon and be there as often as he could. Church was family to us, and I have benefitted much from his faithfulness in this regard. He was the one who walked me down the aisle when I gave my heart to Jesus in 1969. This December will be 50 years since I became a Christian, and my love for God has only grown stronger and more precious to me since then.
- His love of Florida and its beaches – Every year we would spend at least a long weekend at the beach. My dad loved the Sunshine State, even though he was born and raised in Rhode Island. He would come home every night after work and spend it by our pool until dinner was ready. Being outside was his breath of fresh air, literally. It kept him grounded after being indoors 60+ hours every week.
My Father-in-love is a great man. I didn’t meet him until I picked him up at the airport 5 days before our wedding. I was so scared to meet him alone. It was decided we would play racquetball together that day. What an ice-breaker that was, and I have loved him like a Father ever since. Following are the things Tom loves and appreciates most about his dad.
- Strong work ethic – Dad worked hard at the same job for the same company for his entire career. He was faithful to his work and committed to excellence. He was well-liked and respected by all his colleagues. At the same time, he served for twenty years in the Army Reserves, spending one weekend a month away from home as well as two weeks every Summer.
- Patience – Many times I would get in trouble, but rather than rail me for my wrong doing, he would patiently explain to me how what I had done hurt him and Mom. I heard his soft answers loud and clear and he made me want to do better next time.
- Love of the outdoors – From an early age I was in Boy Scouts, and my dad would go with me on camping trips. We went fishing with his dad and camping with my scout troop. It was a highlight for both of us when we went on two separate fishing trips to Alaska together. When I was older our favorite outdoor activity turned to…
- Golf – We both share a love for the game. Dad in his retirement volunteered as the Marshall for his golf course. He organized charity events and tournaments through the years. His love for the game led to a love for volunteering for the benefit of others.
- Great storyteller – My Dad can tell a story and he is good at it. He remembers details that most would soon forget. His love for people is evident in the way he notices them, talks to them and enjoys being with them. He has many friends wherever he goes. None so capture his heart though, than his family. He loves us dearly and stays connected even though we have always lived on opposite sides of the country.
What about your Dad? The Bible calls us to honor our father and mother – this is the first commandment with a promise. What a privilege it is to not only honor my Mom and Dad but to help my husband honor his.
Have a blessed and memorable Father’s Day. One day, like me, the photos you have taken will be precious memories of the time you used to have together. Make the most of today!