Dad-Stories

Dad,

     There are so many hurting men today who struggle with broken relationships with their dads. They tell stories of how they could never live up to their father’s expectations or stories about abuse or neglect. Some guys don’t even have Dad-stories because they never had a dad growing up. But I’m not one of those guys.

     I have great Dad-stories; simple stories where I remember being loved unconditionally by you and mom. You always made me feel accepted, even when you disciplined me. I knew I was loved even if I flunked a test, or told a lie or wet my pants. You encouraged me to improve my gifts and talents, even though they were different gifts and talents of David or Kathy or Becky. You accepted and loved me for who I was.

     My earliest memories include watching you lather both our faces with shaving cream you mixed up in that Old Spice mug and then letting me “shave” with an empty razor. I also remember going “visiting” with you to an old folks home near River Des Peres and getting to buy Neccos from a candy machine. Another great memory was the day you fixed us hamburgers when mom was in the hospital. That was the best and fattest hamburger I have ever eaten.

     Memories from my teenage years include looking up in the stands to see you sitting there on an early Saturday morning watching me fail miserably at Pee Wee Basketball, but you never made me feel bad about my lack of athletic abilities. And then there was the time you had Clyde Spurgeon teach me to water ski at Windermere. That was such a great boost for my ego to learn to do something no one else in the family could do. The icing on the cake was watching you try to learn to ski but you wouldn’t let go of the side of the boat because your feet couldn’t touch the bottom of the lake. That was the first time I ever saw you struggle with fear. It was good to see you were human.

     These are just a few of my Dad-stories. I know that your Dad-stories include a lot of pain and hurt when shared. You weren’t blessed with the dad that I have, yet you broke the chains of dysfunction and abuse and you loved your family with a love that exemplified our Heavenly Father. You made it easy for me to accept His love by the way you loved. I just wanted to say thanks!

Love you,

Tom