Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Testament

Father's Day. Today is Father's Day. My Father, my Dad is jetting to South Korea today with my brother, my mother, my sister and brother-in-law. Dad fought in the Korean War and this is the second time he has returned via the returning veterans program, complements of South Korea. I went with him in 1997 and it was fascinating. It was fascinating to see the country and walk in a place where there is still so much real tension. It was fascinating to see my Father in a different light with his own "Band of Brothers".

My Dad is the embodiment of a Father. Constant, consistent, loyal, a coach, a teacher, a remarkable role model. He taught all of us to work and to work hard because that's what we saw him do. He taught all of us a sense of morality, fair play and honesty just by exhibiting that behavior, always. He taught us about faith, about our church, about being active, just by doing those things. I've know my Dad 55 years, and while I have seen him angry from time-to-time I've never seen him out of control, I've never heard the man curse. Oh, sure, we would occasionally get a "Dad Gumit", or "Darn It", but never the really good, juicy stuff.

My Father was my pack leader in cub scouts, my baseball coach in Little League and my biggest fan in football. He made me take Calculus in high school, he taught me the value of money, he took me to the Grand Canyon and he taught me to fish (sorry that didn't take very well). He gave up a year of his life with his family to allow me to finish my senior year in Colorado City when he was transferred to Fort Worth and then he travelled from Fort Worth every Friday, regardless of where we were playing, to watch a pretty bad football team.

My Dad is 80 and is still a remarkable role model. He is what we all want to become in retirement. He is busy, he is active, he enjoys remarkable health, he plays golf and still mows his own lawn. He walks every day and is sort of a force of nature.

Years ago, in Hillsboro when I was a member of the Lion's club I overheard a couple of older gentlemen talking. My preacher walked by and one of the guys said to his partner, "That's a really good man". I thought at the time this was the epitome of a complement from old men, a wonderful testament to a good life. It was the perfect description of what I think we all strive to be. It really describes my old man. He's my Father, my Dad, I love him and he is a really good man.

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