It’s Father’s Day again, and so I thought I would reminisce a bit about my own father. I have actually been thinking about him quite a bit lately, and I have come to the conclusion that he meant well. It didn’t seem like it at the time, when I was growing up, but now that he’s been gone for 8 years, it’s a little easier to be more objective.
I was quite terrified of him, which had some good points, but for the most part it was not a good way to grow up. I never knew when I might upset him, but that seems to be the way it works with alcoholics. So I tried, usually unsuccessfully, to fly under his radar.
However, being terrified of my father kept me out of a lot of trouble. And, I do have a few sweet memories of my dad. I choose to focus on those now, and not on the unpleasantness. His own dad was, by almost all accounts, pretty mean and very hard on my dad and his sister, so clearly, Daddy did a lot better by us than was done by him. But, on to the good memories. . .
I remember, in High School, I had a boyfriend who had promised to take me to the carnival when it came to town. I looked forward to this for weeks, but when it finally got there, the boyfriend backed out on me, and was really quite ugly about it. I was crushed! So, I went home and did the most rational thing I could think of: I ran to my room and cried!
Daddy came in and asked me what was wrong, and I told him. He said he couldn’t imagine why I was sitting there crying when I actually had a date to the carnival. I thought he’d lost his mind, but as I was trying to figure out what he meant, he said “C’mon! Let’s go! I’m your new date!” I was absolutely amazed, and I have to say, Daddy was the best date I ever had to a carnival!
I also remember, in Junior High, I was on the Volleyball team, but the coach never let me play. Daddy decided to find out what the problem was, and even though I was not allowed into the meeting, apparently they had to ask my dad to leave the school office, for fear that he was going to pulverize the coach!
Daddy used to take me arrowhead hunting, and I still have some bluebonnets pressed in my Children’s Bible that he picked for me on the side of the road one Spring, on our way to Brownwood. So, he definitely had his moments. Everyone outside of our home and immediate family thought he was wonderful and charming. And, he certainly could be. He presented very well publicly. Alcoholics generally do.
I can’t help but compare my own husband to my dad, when I think of fathering, and not a day goes by that I am not grateful for Gaylon. He is a phenomenal dad! Proof? All of his children love and respect him, and want to spend time with him! I am so proud (and envious!) of the relationship my daughter has with her daddy! They are best friends, and I am so very grateful! Our boys look up to him with respect, and Kendall proudly tells everyone how much he is turning into Gaylon. (It’s true. . . his wife confirms this!)
And, I am eternally thankful for the spiritual example my husband has set for his family. He is quiet in his faith, and chooses to live it out by action, and not word, but our children know that he will be in Mass every Sunday, and that he reads his Bible almost every night. They know that he prays, and that he prays FOR them. Gaylon is steady, faithful and true, and his children know it. He inspires me in so many ways!
So, this Father’s Day, I am grateful for the father I had, not because he was a great dad, but because I am who I am today because of him, and I am REALLY grateful for the amazing man I married, and the dad he is to our children.