I was young when you were diagnosed with cancer so I really don't remember so much about the whole time. Maybe I just don't want to remember it because it was such a scary time. I do remember coming home from school and Mom was looking out her bedroom window and crying.
I also remember your quiet faith through that time and how it gave us all the courage to be strong.
I think of all the times you took me to piano lessons. (lucky you!) That 25 minute drive seemed like forever to me, a girl who wanted to be playing football with the boys in the neighborhood rather than going to piano lessons. Unfortunately, I do not play the piano well at all...but I wish I did. Also, I don't think I ever apologized for being such a brat and not speaking to you all the way there! Thank you for taking me and trying to get me to learn something I would have appreciated someday. The same goes for taking me to get my allergy shots. You must have dreaded those days because you knew how much I hated having to go...and I'm sure I wasn't exactly your sweet little girl:-)
I know you worked hard to provide for us at all times. How did you go to work so early in the morning and then work so much overtime all those years??? I don't really remember feeling as if I missed out on having anything growing up and I'm sure that's why. Having said that, I know I was a bit of a snob as a teenager, wanting and expecting the finer things in life. All along, I had the finer things in life and today I would be so happy to ride in your brown truck:-)
You are such a wonderful grandfather. I wonder if you know how much you are loved by all of your grandchildren.
They all recognize what a kind, loving, supportive man you are. My girls think they have the sweetest grandfather in the world and I know the others would all agree.
They know you are always there to listen and say a kind word. I wish all children could be so blessed as to have you for a grandfather.
I wish I had tried harder when you encouraged me to learn golf.
I would be playing today if I had. I think it's amazing how you stay busy and are still learning new things. You always loved to golf and to fix or build things in your workshop. Now you actually can make your own golf clubs and also play shuffleboard and even darts...and can put together even the toughest puzzle!
You could fix anything and I never appreciated having a father who was so handy but believe me, I do now!:-)
I wonder if you realize what an impression you have made on Phil. As you know, he hasn't had a father in his life since he was a young boy, so he thinks of you as the perfect father. He has often said he wonders what his life might have been like had he grown up with a father like you.
When you called to congratulate him on his hole-in-one, he was so surprised and touched. He never once in his life has had the experience of a father telling him "congratulations" or "good job". Thank you for being the father he never had.
Well, I could go on and on but I'll wrap it up with this...you are a man of faith like no other I have personally known.
You are also a man of "quiet" faith and I have a feeling it is that quality that has probably influenced more people in your life than you realize. From co-workers, to neighbors, to golf-buddies, they know there is something special inside of you and I know that someday, many of them will be waiting eagerly to greet you and thank you for being the kind of man who leads not just by words but by love and example.
Dad, This is one of my favorite quotes. I think of you every time I hear it.
"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it." Clarence Budington Kelland
Happy Father's Day Dad...I love you!