This is my dad.
He’s an ironworker, classic rock lover, Harley-riding, all out man of God. Over the years he’s taught me a lot (when I’ve let him) and has definitely shaped who I am today.
A few years ago he had a milestone birthday and I was having difficulty deciding what an appropriate gift for the occasion would be. Rather than sending some expensive gift I chose to write him a letter, sharing with him the memories I have of him that are most cherished to me. I wanted to share them here today for Father’s Day because it’s important to remember just how much of an impact dads have on their little girls…
Every morning growing up, I’d go into the kitchen to eat breakfast and smell coffee and see your Bible sitting on the table. I didn’t think much of it then because it was so normal, but now I realize what a wonderful example of a consistent walk with God you were portraying for us. Now that I’m a parent and have so much to do in my days I understand better how much discipline it takes to take that time each day to spend with God. Thank you for that example and I hope you know that I think of it often and try to remember to be as consistent as you.
One summer when I was 13, I think, we went to Eastern Washington and stayed at a little resort place on a river. I don’t remember exactly where we went or what it was called but there is one thing that has stuck with me. I remember that you came and asked me if I wanted to go get ice cream with you. It was just you and me; we didn’t get Janelle, Darren or Mom. I remember we went and got our ice cream and sat down on a bench to eat it and just hung out talking. I also remember I got rocky road ice cream. I don’t know if you remember that time or not, but it meant a lot to me that you wanted to spend time with me by myself. Now when I eat rocky road ice cream I always think of you and that time we sat on the bench together.
I remember sitting in the living room and you reading to us from Mark Twain’s collection of short stories. It was rare that we all were together and not watching TV, playing video games or on the computer. That time listening to you read out loud was nice because we were all involved in something together and those stories are something I can talk about with Janelle and Darren; most people my age have never heard of them. You demonstrated to me the importance of reading and enjoying classic literature. To this day classic literature is my favorite and I know that it’s thanks in part to you.
Last, thanks to you I’m the driver I am today, some people would say that’s a good thing; some would say it’s a bad thing. Regardless, I’m glad that I had a dad who took the time to teach me to drive, and most importantly to drive a stick. I am always reluctant to start things that I’m not perfectly confident I’ll master on the first try…another thing I got from you? This happened not only with driving but also with riding my bike. Both times you knew that I had the ability to do it and pushed me to start, despite my protests. The first time I ever got behind the wheel of a car was in the VW Baja and I thought we were going to drive around the parking lot of the church. We did that for about 5 minutes and then you told me to drive out onto the main street. I was terrified, but you told me I could, so I did it. I was so scared every time a car passed me that I was going to randomly smash into them. When I had to start from a four-way stop and I killed it I was so embarrassed. But, I made it home in one piece and was really glad you pushed me past my comfort zone.
I know none of these seem like big important memories, but I’ve come to realize that it’s the small things you do that you never think about that make the most impact on people’s lives.
And now, because this is another thing my dad and I enjoy together, I leave you with a clip from Top Gear…
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