Saturday, June 12, 2010

A Good Father

There are so many people who are doing good things and so many people to be inspired by. In honor of Father's Day coming up I thought it would be good to be inspired by a few good fathers.

Indeed, I must begin with my own Dad, Michael. 

When I think of my Dad, "good" is one of the first words that comes to my mind.

I have learned so many things from my Dad. He is one of those people that can do...anything. If he doesn't know how to do something, he can learn -- and learn quickly. He can fix, repair, rebuild, and explain the mechanics and physics of anything and everything (from computers, to cars, to surround sound systems,, to...anything. I can't think of something he can't fix.)

He is also a great dancer.  Very smooth. All of my sisters (and my Mom) love to dance with Dad.

He is extremely intelligent and has an amazing grasp on the way things work. Whenever my kids have a question about something that I have no idea how to explain, I say "That is a really good question for Papa. Let's call him." {I am referring to questions about the universe and astrophysics, and why things are blue, or how an airplane actually flies. Come on kids! Give me something easier, like how to spell something. Maybe how to spell "tuberculosis" -- the first word I really remember having learned how to spell in third grade. I was really proud of myself. Weird.}

I digress.

He also has an amazing vocabulary. He used to tell us that whenever you wanted to learn a new word, you should try to purposely use it a lot. He did. He would throw strange words into his sentences like they were a normal part of his vocabulary. If I didn't understand a word he would follow it up with..."Well, go look it up in the dictionary." I apparently didn't do that because he still uses words that are unknown to me. I am however very familiar with "plethora", "placate", "behoove", "diabolical", and "hoodlum." Okay. I probably already knew hoodlum, but I remember he used to use that word. I know there are several other "large and important" words that he used to use, but alas, I can't remember a single one because I never used them in sentences on purpose and I certainly never looked them up in the dictionary (probably because I couldn't remember what the strange word was long enough to look it up.)

{Four generations}
He is an extremely hard worker. Most of my memories of my dad are of him....working. Working at work. Working around the house. Working in the yard. I used to love watching him work or just be around him because he would whistle or sing little songs -- such fond memories.

He has a really great laugh and an infectious smile.

I have learned so many good things from my dad, but by far, the legacy he will leave is his goodness.

All of the gifts and talents that I have described above are things he has used for good. He has repaired, fixed, built, and re-built so many things for so many people. He is incredibly generous with his time and his money...and his hard work. He is good.

He is getting old. (Sorry Dad. I thought you already knew.) Okay, he is getting older, but he still hasn't slowed down. I live far away from my Dad, but I know that he spends A LOT of his time helping others. Helping those that need help. Helping. Working. Doing good. His body is aging, but it doesn't stop him. He still spends hours of labor helping to clean, build, re-build, and repair things for others.
I think my Dad is one of those people that will never stop helping people. He would rather give you everything he could, than to see you go without or have difficulty. His compassion is endless. 

I remember a particular time when I was around....twelve or fourteen maybe. Something in that range. It was Christmastime. A young family in our church had just recently been laid off. My parents took us to pick out a Christmas tree for them. We then filled a box full of groceries and some Christmas treats my mom had made. They loaded all of us up in our van and headed to the family's house in the evening. We took the items quietly to the door (no small feat since there were a lot of us) and then quickly retreated back into our van. I remember that before I got into the van, I saw my Dad quickly and carefully sneak an envelope filled with a few hundred dollars into the box. (I don't know the exact amount. I don't think I ever did, but I knew it was a lot.) I am certain he didn't know I had seen it. We hadn't talked as a family about giving them money.

First of all, I was shocked. I was fairly young. I hadn't seen that much money in person before. Second, I knew that had to be a huge sacrifice. I come from a family of ten children. Providing Christmas for ten children is no small task. I had no idea what their finances were, but we were certainly not millionaires so I knew this had to be a lot for them to give up at that time of year.

That memory has stuck with me. I can vividly recall it in my mind. I can see it over and over again. Every time I do, heart swells with love for my Mom and Dad and their example of giving. 
Giving when it's hard. Giving when it's needed.

It has always had an impact on me.

That was not the only time I have had that experience watching my parents give. There have been countless others. He continues giving and doing good for our family as well as others.
{My Mom and Dad at my Senior Prom. This picture still makes me grin.}

I know my siblings can attest to this -- there isn't a single one of us that our Dad hasn't helped in one way or another.

My Dad worked hard providing for a large family.

My Dad worked hard providing relief -- even sometimes in relatively small ways -- for others.

My Dad still does.

He is a really good man.
He is a really good father.

That is the legacy he will leave. That is what I have learned most from him. That is what I will always use to measure myself against. 

He inspires me to do good. 
He inspires me to be good.

I love you Dad!
Happy Father's Day!

Keep watching over the next week for more good fathers.
You are sure to be inspired.

Do you have a good father that you want me to feature?
I'd love to hear from you.


Stephanie said...

Hey! I know that guy! What a lovely post. I agree with every bit of it! He truly is an inspiration in service and good works. Love you Dad!!

mom said...

Hmm, I just left a comment and it disappeared. Spooky!
Thank you, Britney for posting such a loving tribute to your father. He truly is a wonderful example and a very special GOOD man. He will be very touched when he reads this. Love, mom

Robyn said...

That is such a great post, Britney. So sweet. You are so blessed to have a father who is such a great example and who has taught you so much. He sounds like a wonderful person.

Michael said...

Wow, Britney...thank you for the journey, I only wished I was half as good as you have portrayed me...this is wonderful, I really appreciate it and love you so much, and it was a diet coke in my hand on the beach...

Anne said...

this is adorable...and the body in the beach photo is too much!