My dad was fifty when I was born. I was the lucky recipient of an adoring father who never wavered in his constant love and attention. I know I am very fortunate to have had that kind of dad; one who treated me with kindness, respect, and as though I was someone special. I have known many people who did not have the benefit of a decent and solid father and several have told me what a profound effect that lack has had in their lives. They have suffered in ways that I can’t even fathom and I have come to recognize what heft the simple gift of love carries throughout life. My dad certainly had his share of flaws like we all do, but when it came to loving me, he was about as close to perfect as a man can be. Nothing flashy or showy. Just pure and constant like water flowing from a natural spring.
When I think of my dad these days, I think about his cowboy hat, his boots, his old pickup truck and his penchant for waxing poetic about the beauty of the alfalfa growing in the fields. He loved North Central Texas and the people who lived there. I never once had the feeling that he wished he lived anywhere else. He was home there, settled and happy, and valued his close relationships with his family as well as lifelong friends. When we went out to feed the cows in the pasture, I sensed that he loved those cows and calves, appreciated the beauty of nature and was at peace in his world. He wasn’t always at peace with my mother, but that is another story.
I’m sorry my dad is not around to enjoy his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He would have loved every one of them just as he loved me, and their lives would be richer just from knowing him. Alas, his memory is alive and well and I do my best to offer that same level of constancy to my own children. Love does indeed beget love.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.