Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Dad

A short note about my dad...

Born in 1931, his tall stature captured at lot of attention from those who met him. In his own words, he stood "5 feet and 17 inches." His smile was infectious. His laugh would make you laugh with him.

He passed away on 15 February 1998.

I miss him.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Coming and Going of Sons

I love it when they come home, but can't hardly stand it when they leave.
Everytime Joey or Shane comes home, I am on cloud nine. Somehow my boys bring out the kid in me, and I love it. My outlook on life returns to normal and healthy. I even think my blood pressure drops to normal. For a father, there is nothing better for him than his sons coming home for a visit.
But when I have to watch them leave, it feels like my arteries are opened and my life blood drains out of me. The house seems empty and cold. The bedroom where they slept seems useless (it's used only when they are here). My mood turns dangerously dark and morbid.
So, here is my plan. I want my sons and their wives to move in with us. They can get jobs here locally to help with the groceries, but I will put a roof over their head. Right...? Of course, not.
While the coming and going of sons is difficult, it is the natural way...that...I've got to live with.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Physically Separated...Emotionally Connected

It's hard for a 50-year-old man and father to face down the reality that his sons are living their lives separate from him.

I know; I honestly do know that is what we raised them to do. I am; I honestly am proud of them. They have accomplished many wonderful things.

Still, take this picture for instance. My youngest son posted this picture on his Facebook account (doesn't he look great). I wrote and ask him if this picture was taken at the gift shop in Cades Cove. I don't know why where it was taken was important to me. Maybe I wanted it to be in a place where I had been. Maybe if it were taken in a place where I had been, I would somehow feel a little closer to him. But, alas, he wrote me back explaining it was taken in Charlestown, SC. I have only passed through Charlestown once over 30 years ago, and I have certainly never stopped in a gift shop there.

I wonder why a man hopes his sons will travel down trails he has blazed...see the things he has seen, instead of blazing new trails all their own? It makes no sense at all. Sons will ride their own trails, blazing their own new trails. I did. My father did. It has happened that way throughout the generations.

So, I am left to find comfort in this: my sons will blaze trails I will never see, experience things I will never understand nor experience...that is the way it is with fathers and sons. Always has been and always will be.

Therefore, ride boys ride! Adventure down well worn paths, but cherish the less traveled pathways. Be courageous in blazing your own trails. You've earned your right to be explorers. You are men. Extraordinary men! But will you do me a favor? Remember to tell your old dad about your adventures. In many ways, his life is lived now through your eyes.