Posts

Yesterday, I was thinking about my dad and father’s day today.  Pops is in ill health right now but his spirit is strong.  He might forget where he’s at from time to time, but I know that deep inside his spirit is as strong and vibrant as it has ever been.  Every now and then he will surprise us and just talk, and talk, and talk about the good ol’ days gone by.  He is eternally faithful to my mom, and I really feel he hasn’t abandoned ship yet because he fears for her when he is gone.  Guess what, Pops?  We’ve got your back.  You can enjoy what time you have left worrying about what to eat, what show to watch, how long to sit in that front porch rocker, or just waiting around for football season to start so you can see the Saints repeat!  You know, the big stuff.

You see, my dad is a quiet man.  He has always been a quiet man.  I can honestly say that I have never heard him use curse words.  Sure, us boys surely tested him, but he was able to maintain his composure during those crazy days with kids running and screaming all over the place.

As I was reflecting on him today, I realized that he taught me some of the most powerful lessons anyone could ever learn in life.  It is amazing that he did so without saying a word.  I can’t think of anyone that can pull that off like he did.

When I was growing up, I didn’t realize what he was teaching.  It never dawned on me that you could teach without using words; however, it’s certainly true.  To give you a taste, here are some things that he taught solely by his actions and without saying a single word:
• Always help someone in need.
• Never complain when helping someone.
• A life without service and compassion is no life at all.
• Work hard and always support your family.
• Assist any family or relative that could use your help.
• Absolutely stop for anyone having car trouble.
• Give the shirt off your back to anyone less fortunate than you.
• A good home cooked meal is a blessing.
• Growing a vegetable garden has healing aspects to it.
• It’s much better to be barefoot, broke, and kind than rich and unkind.
• Always, always know there’s someone out there who has it worse than you.
• If someone steals from you, give them what’s in the other pocket.
• Love doesn’t have to be spoken to be given.
• A simple life is a full life.
• And of course, actions speak much louder than words.

Pops, you ROCK!  While you may have been silent most of the time, you taught me more by your kind actions, gentleness, compassion and undying love for your family.  I can only hope to achieve the softness and empathy you have for everyone you have ever met.

As I sit here, wishing to call him but knowing he is already in bed, I can’t help but hold on to the faith that he will get stronger one day and be back to normal.  Unfortunately, lately he has had more bad days than good days.  But maybe, just maybe, Father’s Day will be one of the good ol’ days!

Happy Father’s day!  I love you!  Your son and eternal friend,
Bill

Yesteday while I was having my own Father’s day celebration, I thought about my dad a lot.  By the time I called to tell him that I loved him, he had already gone to bed.  I was bumbed out a bit because of missing him so I thought I would write a little post about what my dad means to me.

My dad is that absolute most kindest man in the world.  He would never hurt anyone intentionally and would give the shirt off his back in an instant.  This made me reflect on a story about 28 years ago. 

My dad was a used car salesman and owned his own car lot and body shop on several occasions.  Every Thursday night, he would head off to Shreveport, LA to the auction.  Most of the time, I drove a car over there for him so he could sell it at the auction. 

Although this happened numerous times, I recall one incident on one of those trips to Shreveport.  This time, I was riding with my dad to Shreveport for the auction when he spotted a hitch hiker with a backpack.  As soon as dad saw him, he pulled the car over and offered him a ride.  Dad asked him his name, told him ours, (there were four of us in the car) and proceeded to talk to him about all sorts of things.  Dad told him we were heading to Shreveport so that was as far as we could take him.  The hitchhiker graciously thanked him for his kind deed.  Once we got back on the interstate, Dad asked him where he was going.  The hitchhiker told him he was headed out west.  I can’t recall why but he told dad a lot of things that had occurred to him to make that decision.  I sat in the back seat and watch the scene with amazement.  I could see that the hitchhiker changed his attitude as he could tell someone was really listening to him.  It was quite an exchange and I watched it as if I were taking notes and a pop quiz was to follow.  I do know that it was quite cold outside and the hitchhiker was very happy to have a heater going.

We drove another forty-five minutes before we had to exit the interstate.  We pulled over and dad told him to keep his head up and things would start looking up for him soon.  He reached into his pocket and handed the hitchhiker a twenty dollar bill and then a ten dollar bill.  The guy was beaming now.  He nearly lit up right there on the cold, dark highway.

We drove on and my dad did not say a single thing.  I was still completely amazed by what I just witnessed.  I was always told by everyone to never pick up a hitchhiker and yet my dad did it every single time he saw one.  I am sure that it made that poor man’s day, probably a month to follow.  Dad always gave them money even if he did not have very much of his own. 

While reflecting upon that story, I learned a lot about my dad and life.  I learned that if you come from a place of service or compassion, you can change people’s lives.  Just one single kind act can change someone’s life.  It never occurred to my dad about not stopping to help him.  He listened with empathy as the man poured out his guts about the tragic events that occurred to him several years before.  

This is the type of person my dad is.  Thank you dad for setting such high goals for me to follow.

I love you.  Happy Father’s Day!

Bill