|2/8/2014 3:37:00 PM|
A belated Fathers Day greeting
Like too many things in my life, I'm a day late and a dollar short.
Father's Day was a week and a half ago and I had every intention of writing a Father's Day column for my dad. For a whole lot of reasons that really don't seem as important today as they did two weeks ago, I didn't get it done.
Earl Timmons, Jr. has been a Noblesville resident for the past half century. He's been involved in a bunch of things from Jaycees to different bowling leagues. Today, he's retired and just wanting to enjoy the fruits of a life he worked hard to build. Health issues have made that a challenge though and he's understandably frustrated. Our standing joke - and the topic about a gazillion e-mail jokes - is that the golden years ain't so golden.
"You have too much room in the house and not enough in the medicine cabinet."
"You wake up each morning and know you're alive because everything hurts."
"Your little black book has addresses that are all followed by the same letters, M.D."
"You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there."
"Your back goes out more than you do."
Trust me, heard 'em all.
As many of you know, my dad has been fighting a heart condition. It's involved time in and out of hospitals and a whole lot of decisions that keep you up at night. Wondering. Worrying. Praying.
So forgive me for being a day or three late on the Father's Day sentiments. You see, my dad was the best man in my wedding. When it came to the actual title of best man, I didn't know anyone who fit better. My dad is the best man I know. He was then. Still is now.
So dad, let me share a few things with you. You know, just between us guys.
When your granddaughters were born, I had no idea how to be a father. It's not like they pop out with a training manual. You have no idea how many times over the years I wondered how to handle something . . . but you probably do. Most parents do. We all wonder if we're doing the right thing or not.
So when I didn't know the right answer, when I wasn't sure, I'd try to imagine how you would've handled it. When I was growing up, you taught me a lot. Did you know that you continued doing that when I was in my 30s, and 40s and 50s and . . .
Not that I've always succeeded, but you taught me to try to be the best I could be. There is, I think, in all of us that little voice that tells us we've worked hard enough, we've tried. The little voice that says it's OK to settle, to give up. Your voice though told a different story. In athletics, you taught me that no matter how hard I worked, there was some kid out there (probably in Carmel) who was working harder. Your voice was always urging me on. Challenging me. Pushing. Congratulating. And, at times, consoling. You never really cared if I lost. You cared if I gave it everything I had.
You have no idea how much that taught me.
Respecting others, was another important lesson. You were polite and respectful to everyone. I mean everyone. The impression that left on your kid has never gone away.
You taught me honesty. It's not a coincidence that I went to work in an industry that sells one thing, credibility. If we're not honest, we don't have very much.
So dad, here's hoping that the Golden Years get a lot more golden soon. Here's hoping to afternoons on the lake and lots of strikes at the bowling alley. Here's hoping to a whole lot of time free of hospitals and full of all those things you've worked so hard for. You deserve it.
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