Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A 35 Year Old Memory--My Dad was Cool!

"Dad, can we go fishing?"  I asked impatiently as my dad stepped out of his car door. 

"Sure, we have time to go wet a hook!"  My dad responded as patted my shoulder, walked past me through the front door, into the kitchen and kissed my mom. By the time supper was over, I already had our tackle packed and we were on our way to the lake to wet a hook!

My dad and I rarely caught anything on those wet a hook trips to the lake.  However, 35 years later, I realize we caught much more than fish.  We caught memories of talking, listening and doing nothing more than being together.  My dad (a wonderful fisherman by the way) knew exactly what he was doing on these evening outings and used the right bait for the catch--fishing, cokes at the gas station and no pressure time alone with his son.  Yes, my dad caught me and I am eternally blessed that he did! 

As an adult, I look back on those "Dad, can we go fishing?" ambushes I made on my dad and am even more impressed with his answer of "Yes!"  My dad woke up early, drove to Dallas (when I35 was two lanes), worked hard and got home (like clockwork) exhausted each day--still, he made time for me when I am sure he would have rather talked with mom or taken a nap. My dad gave me his time!  That is why he remains one of my heroes and a model of the type of dad I strive to be for my two wonderful children.

So today, as I went back to my home town for lunch with a friend, I stopped by the lake and took the above picture of one of the spots my Dad and I would often go to wet a hook. It has been 19 years since my dad went home to be with my Father in Heaven and, almost weekly, realize how blessed I am to have had a dad who knew how to fish...for a strong relationship with his son.  Yes, my dad was cool!

Thanks Dad!  I pray my "fishing" produces the same results in my own children! 

Question:  What are some of the simple (but great) things your parent(s) and/or significant adult(s) did with you that sowed the seeds of a strong, caring and loving relationship? (BTW:  I purposefully used the words "did with you.")


  1. My dad did with me things that at the time I loathed but later in life came to wish I'd put more effort into back then. While I hated that my dad wanted me to help him work on his truck,I did so not maximizing the opportunity.

    My dad and I didn't get along, but he was trying to connect. I can see that now.

    Of course, he took me hunting often, and for that I am grateful. My 7 yr old son loves being outside, and wants to hunt. I get to do for him what my dad offered me in that area.

    Thanks for helping me reflect on things that, then, I took for granted. God help me not to do that now with the opportunities I have as a father.

  2. After his cancer diagnosis dad started writing in small spiral notebooks. I think mom’s got about a dozen of them wrapped in a rubber band at her place. Reading through them gave me a new, and much improved perspective. This was one of the entries about a visit from his first grandchild:
    “Dillon came over for a few hours today. We played some games. WHAT A GREAT DAY! PRAISE GOD!”
    Wheelchair bound, sleeping in a recliner, miserable with pain and side effects. This was his impression of that day - less than two weeks before he died.
    A new, much improved perspective. Thanks dad.

  3. Both of these stories inspire me to be a better dad! Thanks guys. Ray and David, I thank God for your insight and work with students. David, I am glad our families are friends and parenting our kids together.

    As we all can see, a little AUTHENTIC time goes a long way in solidifying great memories with our kids and grandchildren.

  4. There are so many moments...I'm almost overwhelmed at trying to pick one...I guess, mine was a look of satisfaction on his face when he realized that I had become the man he raised me to be.

    One other was seeing how he also loved to spend time with all of us kids and his grandchildren...he absolutely felt alive when his grandchildren came around. Great moments.