I didn’t secure an interview for this week on purpose. I didn’t want to highlight an organization. I wanted to highlight a human being. Today is Father’s Day and just as I featured my mom for Mother’s Day, I owe it to my Dad to do the same.
Dear Dad, I’ll Bet Mom’s Making You reading This,
I know that, because she reads every blog and I’m sure passes them along to you. Or maybe you read every blog too. I know you used to watch all of James’s news stories. Whether he was in Ottumwa or Tallahassee, I would hear the familiar commercials that come before local news and suddenly hear my brother’s name, reporting live from wherever.
I know you support all three of your kids. We’re really lucky to have a dad that isn’t afraid to say he’s proud. Or to tell us he loves us. Or to send us pictures of the day.
For those of you reading this, almost every day since I moved out – I’m the baby of my family – my dad has sent my brothers and me an old family picture – appropriately titled “Picture of the Day.” Sometimes they are goofy baby pictures. Sometimes they are photos of the awkward middle school years. Sometimes – as we all kid about in my family – I’m not in them because “I wasn’t born yet.” The curse of being the youngest, right?
I’ve noticed one thing about family pictures though. There seems to be a frequent absence of you, because you are the one taking the photo. More content to stay behind the scenes, but still make sure all our amazing memories of childhood are captured from a digital camera.
For our entire lives it was never about you. Sure, you had the things that you liked to do and you have more hobbies than most people I know, but you even had a way of making those about us. Take the garden for example. Not only did you teach me everything I know about growing fresh vegetables, but you also were so eager to ask what vegetables I would like to see in the garden. (Just on record, it’s pretty much anything but radishes for me).
Or take for example running. If there was a bad race or a good race you had a word of advice. Not in a critical way, just in the simple manner of a guy who also enjoys a good 5K. Or biking for that matter. When I started to get back into biking and just wanted a unique place and way to work out, we went downtown and biked through Pittsburgh. And it was wonderful. And I was happy.
See, from a young age, you instilled in us the desire to be adventurous and love the outdoors. You taught me how to use power tools and build a bench from plywood. One day, we made a bench during the day, and a “from-the-tree” / “from-scratch-crust” apple pie at night.
You showed me how to be homemade. How to use my resources wisely. How to be just as tough as anyone else.
Even though you now have two kids in New York City and one in Florida, you are still supporting us in your own ways – whether through a picture of the day or through an encouraging text that we are all on the right track.
I’m lucky to have a dad who isn’t afraid to tell me he loves me. I just hope I say it back enough so you know I do too.
And lastly, my dad probably does the greatest service to my 3rd brother, the little four-legged twerp with golden hair. Thanks for taking good care of our dog Carson. He’s lucky to have someone to take him on long walks and give him belly rubs.
Dad, thank you for the service you have done in raising my brothers and I. We are better for having you as a father.
I wanted to write about a topic of service today. And on Father’s Day, I see nothing more fitting than to simply thank my dad – who has been providing selfless acts of service for the past 29 years on behalf of my brothers and me.
There’s a lot I can talk about regarding service – but perhaps no aspect of service is as important as the kindness and generosity we learn at home when we have a great father.