Happy Fathers Day
Don’t ask me what got me up so early on the day when I am supposed to be “honored” and allowed to sleep. It may have been to old bones saying enough is enough at 5 hours of sleep, the cat tap dancing on a full bladder trying to say it was breakfast time or any one of a million little thoughts that dance in my head that need to get out.
Today is Fathers Day, the day that has been set aside to yearly honor the men in our lives that were so kind as to have loved a woman enough to bring us into this world. The male of the species that God created to teach young children that spiders bark and that not every boo-boo hurts so much that you need to cry. They are the ones that showed us tough love at times when we were younger and thought we knew everything as teenagers or taught us that one sport that we love, be it racing, football, baseball or golf. It really becomes a day of different things for every man as they grow older.
This year seems different for me as I have done some reflection over events of the last year for me and some memories have come back. This year this day will be a day of joy for some that I know who are experiencing their first Fathers Day as a parent and for others this will be a day of heartbreak as their hearts are heavy from the loss of their child. Some will take the time to think about their own fathers who passed from their lives years ago as mine did. For me that took place nearly forty years ago and it still stings at times although I know we will meet again.
Today I will choose to focus on others rather than myself. That is what my Father taught me to do. Give back to others through helping others that can’t help themselves. That lesson is that one that was taught to me through my father actions not his words but his actions in helping others. Some of my friends will remember my dad back when we were young standing at flag football games and didn’t notice that he was talking with a select few of the “grunts” of the lines. Not allows the biggest kids on the field or the meanest but the grunts that blocked so that others could score. That was my dad going back to his youth when he place football in high school and passing on what he could for others. I am glad I shared him with you.
Those of you that hung out at my house knew my dad from playing catch with not just me but every kid that came around. He had played football and baseball at a level that I never did as I was not big enough to follow that path in high school. He realized that and took me down the path of golf. He played but it was never as serious for him as it became for me. He knew he could not teach me that game at a high level so he found others to do it. He saw that was where my natural talent was. He took me to play with his friends and they continued that even after his passing. I found my mojo chasing a little white ball around grass covered fields with a game that Twain referred to as a good walk spoiled.
I saw the same in my son and taught him although we had an interruption in those lessons thanks to circumstances that affected our lives. I knew it the first moment we met when at minutes old he wrapped his hands around my finger in a perfect Vardon grip. I saw a natural swing that could carry through a lifetime if he chose that path as he grew a bit. I saw it as he started taking those walks on manicured lawns that we call golf courses. While my hands have failed me some day I hope that he and I do it again someday.
For today I will watch to see what happens at Merion Country Club to see who will capture that most coveted trophy in that sport. My bet is on “Lefty” as this is the one that is owed him by the golfing Gods. The prize will have a very special meaning not only for having won a Major bit for on the day one which that tournament ends; Fathers Day. I hope that the words spoken to him by Payne Stewart come back to him from Pinehurst as Phil awaited the birth of his first daughter. They battled to the end only for Phil to come up short but Payne told him, that his day will come and that there was something more important for him coming in a few days, that moment when he would become a first time father.
For me today I will focus on what I have done and continue to do to give back. I will focus on the fathers that I have been blessed to have helped as well as the mothers. I have not achieved my own goal yet on never having to do that again but I know that time will come. Every day brings that time closer yet there is still work to be done. That is my community service that was instilled by my father on me and why I honor him today with a misty eye and a look towards Heaven and a softly spoken, until we meet again Richard; I love you Dad.
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