Sunday, June 15, 2008

I love you, Dad!

(Jeff here--I don't usually post on here--but this is for my Dad, so . . .)
Dad, I want to take just a minute to tell you how much you mean to me. There are so many special memories that come to my mind on days like this. Like laying in my bed on Sunday afternoons, laughing quietly while listening to you snore. Or the hour-long showers you would take each morning. Like the Christmas morning you were suddenly inspired to clean out the old chicken coop, and we kids couldn't figure out why, until a truck pulled in with a pony for us. And the hunting trips we went on, when it would get so cold at night, and then how we'd fear for our lives as you lit the fire the next morning. Remember the countless Saturdays we spent unloading and re-loading the shed? And the times when Mom would be away for a few days and we'd have "just enough time" to remodel the kitchen, or bathroom, or bedroom, or whatever--only it was about half the time we really needed? Remember the fishing trip to Rama Reservoir, when nobody got any fish, but we all got a good laugh when you tipped over your inner tube in the middle of the lake and had to swim all the way back to shore? I remember one winter day driving up to Fairplay, and bringing home a team of sled dogs with us. And the trip we guys took to Florida, when we stopped on the way at the "1921 Oyster Bar" for the best crabs, shrimp, and oysters, and gumbo ever!

I don't think any of us will ever forget the Christmas after your emergency surgery, when we kids were just glad to have a Daddy. That wasn't the only time that finances were tight, but we learned lots of ways to have fun without spending lots of money. You taught us about family values, and about living for God. You served God when it was easy, and when it wasn't, and you chose to live a consistent life, even when others criticized you and lied about you. You taught us about integrity and hard work. You modeled to us how to treat your wife like a lady, and told us countless times how wonderful our Mom was. I never questioned your love for her or for us children. Even as I grew into a teenager, and we didn't always see eye-to-eye, I always respected you inside, and knew that you wanted what was best for me.

Dad, I'm on the other side of things now, and I've got two kids of my own. I think I appreciate more and more each day all that you sacrificed for us kids. I realize the great responsibility I have for my own family, and I'm thankful I've got a godly example to look up to. I'm a whole lot quicker to come to you for advice now than when I was a teenager--and it's because I've realized that you really have been in my place before, and that you really do know a lot more than I gave you credit for back then.

I've rambled around a lot here, but "hastening on" (: (sorry, I had to say that, Dad!), I just wanted to tell you how much you mean to me. Thank you for consistently modeling the Christian life, teaching me what really matters, and being my biggest hero! I love you, Dad! Happy Father's Day!

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