I’m one of the lucky few in America whose parents are still married and still with me. In the last few months, this has become more apparent and appreciated, as time has caught up with all of us.
When I left home, I was 18 and my father was 42. I’m now 51 and he’s 75. Neither of us have been spring chickens for many, many springs.
I went home to Arkansas recently and had a chance to have a good visit with my dad. Sadly, that’s not always been the case. We have a large family, and normally there are many people present. One-on-one visits have been few.
I learned things I never knew. So did he.
We talked about the things in our lives that we regretted, but mostly we talked about the things we don’t regret.
The good things; whom we married, our children, our friends and people we wish were still here.
A buddy of his convinced him to join the National Guard. On a whim, he did. As a result, my dad witnessed history when President Eisenhower sent him to Little Rock in 1957 when the governor of Arkansas resisted integration.
My dad’s first car was a Model A he bought from his grandfather. He wishes he still had it.
He loves Johnny Cash and Fats Domino.
He once owned a Volkswagen.
He still believes that my mother is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and that he’s lucky to have her.
The best thing that my dad ever did for me was being my father. I say this because there is a great difference between fathering a child and being a father.
He has always been there for me. He gave me life lessons, advice, correction when I needed it, and most importantly, he’s always told me that he loves me.
Not all fathers say those words, but they’re darned important to a child, whether he’s 5 or 51.
This Father’s Day, talk to your dad.
I promise it’s the best gift you can give to him and to yourself.
To read more of John’s musings, visit johnmoore.net/blog.