Good morning! Hey, I’m coming to you today on Sunday morning, Father’s Day 2019. Today is a very special day for a lot of us that are dads, but it’s even more special today for those of you listening to me, if your father is still living and you can spend some quality time with them, or simply talk to them on the phone, and show them some love and kindness today.
We are discussing something most important to all of us, and that’s our dads, our fathers. You know Father’s Day to me is nothing short of a miracle day. I gotta tell ya, I’m gonna get a little bit emotional today, most likely because I’m going to talk about one of the greatest, bravest and one of the toughest men that I know. I’m talking about my dad. I can never forget times as a little boy, as the youngest of six, that my father looked like Superman to me. Everything he did, he did so well, he had knowledge of semi trucks and working the logistics business, so he would take me on some of his trips and I’d look at those very small cars as we’d go running down the highway, and we’re looking at different states and I got to visit the entire east coast it seemed like as a little boy, and we got to meet some unique people. I’ll never forget on one of those trips my dad pointed out a trailer that was painted with a sunset on the trailer of the side of this semi tractor-trailer and he said, “Do you know who that is?” And I was a very young boy and didn’t know at that time and got to meet the crew for ZZ Top, the rock n roll trio from Texas.
I didn’t get to meet the three musicians, but I did get to meet their drivers and see their vehicles and the trailers. They even gave us some memorabilia, which I still have today to remember that incident. I got to tell ya, I was mesmerized when I, later in life, realized how close I was to rock n roll greatness by my dad introducing me to the driver for ZZ Top. It was a pretty neat deal.
The other thing I want to visit about is I look at the sacrifice that we make as dads and I look back and realize that it’s really not a sacrifice at all. You know I’ve got to say that one of the most fun things I’ve ever done with my dad while I was in the boy scouts were camping trips, canoe trips, fishing, hunting. My dad took valuable time away from his very busy career to see that he gave the time and attention to me at a point in my life when I needed it most. I will say today it’s most with fathers and sons where the dads feel uncomfortable and the sons do too about receiving just a big hug and a kiss on the cheek from your dad. Gotta be honest with you, my dad this year will be 80 years of age, every time I see him I go up, don’t care where we are don’t care who’s around, and I just hug his neck and put a kiss on his cheek. I want my dad to know that he is honored, revered, and loved by his son.
One of the things that I often do is I send small gifts during the year. I don’t wait until birthdays, I want to honor my dad for the great lessons in life he taught me and I’m gonna give you a few of those lessons in just a few moments. But he gave of himself in such a way and sacrificed for himself, so that I had opportunities to enjoy a higher quality of life. Now the youngest of six children, my siblings will probably tell you that I had it far better than they, but I gotta tell ya, I had a great life. I had hunting rifles, I had motorcycles, we had to work hard and my dad taught us an ethic of working that I believe is missing in a lot of today’s children. We taught our daughters that good work ethic is something that is necessary for success in life. And my father taught us that and we’re passing that down, as I said, to our children but the point I’m making with this is that he did it in a way that it made you proud that you had a strong work ethic. That you rose before the dawn and you got started on whatever project was necessary that you were hired to complete. Because you were his son.
I’ll never forget too, we would have to do some pretty difficult chores in my day, when we heated our house only with wood stove for example and you had to go out and bring in wood during the cold winter days and hopefully you had enough that night to last all night so you could get up the next morning with ice hanging off the porch and trees all covered in ice and you had to go break ice off the wood pile to bring in wood to burn. Those days you look back and my dad, I never heard complain would go outside in that cold and have a nice warm fire for us when we got up and got ready to go to school. He’d break ice on the pond for wildlife you know when we’d have to go out and feed cattle and so forth, he would break ice on the pond. He would use a chopping axe to chop it away when frigid temperatures were outside. You know we didn’t have the best of everything but we had the best of anything. And that was love, gratitude, family, we had things that money can’t buy and death can’t take away.
My father’s such a great man but he didn’t get his greatness from a formal education. He will tell you that one of the things in life he wished he had done better was attend school. He really imposed upon us as his children to get an education. He saw every means possible to help us achieve an education. I’m honored to tell you today I’m the first one in our family of six children to have achieved a bachelor’s degree and now the only one of our six children in the family to have a master’s and post master’s hours toward education. You can understand my father put in my head that education is the way for success in life. But back to my dad, he had a sixth grade education at best. But he had a PhD in life. My dad was one of these gentlemen that could listen to an engine of a car or truck, and back in the day when they had simpler carburetors and things that you could adjust, he could listen to those and have them humming just like a sewing machine in just a few moments. Sad to say I didn’t inherit his skill with a screwdriver or any kind of tools, but my dad could take anything and make something out of it. I was always amazed at how he could look at any problem, mechanically speaking, and resolve it within a few moments.
I’ll also tell you when I did get disciplined by my dad he did it in a way that I understood why and that he’d never enjoy it. You know with my own children, I got to tell you some of the worst times in my life are when I had to do what was the right thing to do in discipline my children, my two daughters. It is an honor to have children that are respectful and respectful to others. It’s an honor to have children that people on the street come up to you and say you know your kids are just so nice. And I always give the credit to my wife. She has done an excellent job with our children while I was out working building our career. But I will say this, like my dad, I never missed an important game. I never missed a dance recital, I never missed anything that was vital and important for my kids. I highly recommend on this Father’s Day that you do a few things that you may see some benefit.
First and foremost, if you have the opportunity, call your father today. Tell your dad that it’s not so much the things that he gave you, but it’s those things that he taught you and instilled in you that are his legacy. You see money can’t buy some of these things, that our fathers have given us through their heart and their mind, their love, their compassion, their habits. Those are things that they taught us that will last a lifetime that will never rust away and that we as their children can carry on and pass down to our children. You see one of the best things we can do to honor our fathers, is to carry on traditions of greatness. Yes, I said greatness. And I don’t mean greatness in terms of physical wealth, I mean greatness in reputation. Greatness in the way we conduct ourselves in our community.
Another story I want to share with you is one in which my father, as I said we didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but my father was always teaching us children that reaching out and helping those in need is a part of a good citizens life. If you’re going to live in a community, one of the things you need to do is contribute to the good of that community. So my father took me to a pie supper one time. And there was a family whose home had burned, they had lost everything, all their clothing, their memories, up in smoke. And they had a pie supper, now I was quite young and I didn’t understand why people were out selling pies for what back then was a pretty large amount of money. For example, some of these pies back in the late 70s were selling for somewhere around you know, forty- five or fifty dollars. Now that doesn’t seem like much money here in 2019, but when you’re a young rural family and it’s in the late 70s, that was quite a bit of money. So, I’m sitting there watching my dad and I ask him, I said, “Dad, why would anyone pay fifty dollars for a pie?” Knowing I could have gone to the bakery and bought a pie for probably about 2 bucks. I’ll never forget what he instilled in me. “It’s not necessarily the pie, Jimmy, that we’re buying, it’s the family that we’re helping.” You see, he may only have a sixth-grade education, but he has such a wealth of knowledge and wisdom that I hope someday to gain. Just part of that. My dad also taught us some things about our spiritual beliefs. He thought it was important to instill in us a proper upbringing. And those are some things we passed down to our daughters. So before I close this mini-episode on Father’s Day I want to say to all of the fathers listening to this episode today, Happy Father’s Day, sincerely, and hope you have the best Sunday that you’ve experienced in many years.
You see, being a father is not a job, it’s an opportunity and it’s a profession. It’s a profession because it is so easy for us to be a father, and it takes tremendous skill to truly be a dad.
Thank you for joining me today. This has been an opportunity for me just to share from my heart. I hope that it’s been something that has given you some thought, if there’s an issue with communication with your father today, I ask you to think wholly about, think hard about what you’re wanting to do and communicate with your dad. The toughest job we dads have is sometimes reaching back out to our kids. We don’t want to feel like we interfere, but we do want them to know that we love them and we care for them. So Happy Father’s Day again.
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