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,