Front row: Scott, me, Cecelya, Aunt Bertha)
As I ate breakfast yesterday morning, I was watching Channel 2, the NBC affiliate in Houston. Khambrel Marshall, one of the KPRC weathermen, was speaking about Father's Day and he made a wonderful statement:
"The best thing I've ever been called is Daddy."
I don't care if he had to go on and tell us it's hot and dry with no rain in sight in Houston, he earned his pay. What a tribute to a father from a child. Those of us who have lost our dad have lost that ability to say it face-to-face. I regret that I did not feel very much of my parents' loss when their dads died but I will chalk that up to youth. If it bothered them, they never let me know which was typical....and kind.
Yesterday, I was talking to Reed Sutton, our girls basketball coach and Assistant Principal at WCS. We were helping move one of our teachers and the talk turned to his three year old son, Brady. (I'm not really bitter but Brady was supposed to be named Coach Hawley Sutton. If you want the scoop, read NAME THAT BABY from August 28, 2008 in the archives.) I asked Reed if Brady would be excited about starting school in the near future and I surmised he would fit right in. You see, Brady has been in schools and in gyms his whole life. He's comfortable in that setting. That will make his transition so much easier when he leaves Darla, his terrific mom and Reed's lovely wife, and begins spending time with his teachers. That's a gift Dad gave me, the gift of comfort. Not only have I always felt at home in church and school settings, due to his (and Mom's) occupations, but I feel comfortable in the world-at-large. I'm an introvert but Dad made sure I knew that was OK, too. His best sermon, The Blessing, emphasized that children who have been given the blessing by their fathers and mothers act as if they are blessed. They have a confidence from knowing it's permissible to fail and parents' love is not conditional to what the world views as success. My father was never blind to my shortcomings or eccentricities- he just loved me in spite of them. That made it easy to love him back. I always took Dad out to eat for Father's Day but that won't happen anymore. Instead, I am filled with the memory of a father whose life was a blessing to me and so many others. On this Father's Day, that's more than enough.
Applicable quote of the day:
" Father! - to God himself we cannot give a holier name."
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org