Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day

Father's Day holds a special meaning for me. It reminds me of the times that I have spent with my grandfather Gene. He has had the biggest impact on my growth from a boy to a man. When I grew up I spent a lot of time with my grandparents. I remember almost everyday during the summer once he got home from work we would grab our gloves and go outside behind their house and he would hit baseballs to me. He would hit some at me to start with and then once my arm was warm he would run me all over the yard with pop-flies and grounders. And in the fall we would go out back and throw the football around. Anyway, he was always there for my games. No matter what sport or what the weather was he would always be there. I am not sure if I ever told him just how special he is to me. Even in school after I was informed that I was LD (learning disabled) he never let me fall back on that and use it as a crutch. He made sure that I knew how smart I was but he he also made sure that I pushed myself. Even now after Lisa and the kids the next person that I what to make sure that I do not disappoint is my Grandfather, Gene.

Another person that has meant lot to me is my dad, Joe. He is my step-dad, but who would ever be able to guess that with the love and attention that he has put into our relationship. He is a great husband to my mom and a great dad to myself and my brother Dylan. What I think that I will always remember most about my dad is that he is a fighter. I don't mean that he would hit us or anything, but he is a fighter (after all he is married to my mom, sorry mom). I remember several years back I was at a friend's house watching TV and stuff. I got a call from my mom. She sounded like she had been crying which was out of the norm for her. She explained that Joe had been diagnosed with skin cancer that had spread. The doctors gave him very little time to live. If I remember correctly it was like a 12% chance to live two - five years. That night I did not go home but I did cry myself to sleep. I have never been good with bad news or situations (just ask Lisa), so while my dad spent a long time in different hospitals I think that I saw him twice. It was not that I did not want to see him or that I did not have time for him, but I guess that I thought that the less time I spent with him then his situation would not be real and he would be okay. After he was transferred back to a hospital in Lafayette I went to see him one day and we talked for about an hour. Even though I did not want to go I did and it was worth it. I remember later my mom telling me how much that meant to him that I went to see him.

The next time my mom called with the same tone as that night. It was to tell me of my dad's heart attack. He had been out mowing their yard when he felt weird. He has told me since that he knew what was happening to him. He put the mower away and called 911. While they were on their way to get him he put the dogs away and unlocked the door so that they could come right in and take care of him. He said that he put the mower away and the dogs up so that my mom would not have to do that later (what a guy, he is having a heart attack and he is thinking about making sure that my mom or brother do not have to do any more work). My mom told me that as he was getting on the life line shuttle to the heart hospital that he told her that he did not think that he would survive this. So she promptly told him that, "you better make it through or I will kill you." Well he is still alive today. What did I tell you - a fighter.

I could go on and on with stories about both my dad and my grandfather (for those of you that know me know that he is my Gene, and that I have never said grandfather this many times ever). But now that I have kids of my own I worry. If I could ever be even a quarter of the people that Gene or Joe are then my kids will be truly blessed. But I worry that instead of these two real men in my life that I will be more like my real father. As you see I have no stories of him. Not even a little joke to let you know a little about him. This is because I have never met him. And the fact that I have his dna in me scares me. I see my kids growing so fast even Brady. Lisa tells me that I am here with them and for them and this already makes me a better dad than my biological father. So here I sit with two earthly examples of a good dad and the greatest example of all our heavenly Father, but I still feel uneasy. I do know that this Father's day that I am truly blessed, I have three kids that seem to hang on my every word. How much more could I ask for? To all the dads out there happy Father's day. I hope that your live is as full and blessed as mine.

And to our Father in heaven, HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The Epsteens said...

Happy Father's Day honey! Everyone who knows you and who knows our kids knows also that the sun rises and sets with you! I am the one who is blessed!

bethb said...

Rick, You are a wonderful father. I have the experience of watching you interact with your children and wife. You are one of the few daddies that will get up in the middle of the night with your little ones, I know this first hand. You are on of the few daddies that can do a little princess hair and explain the reasons why certain behaviour is required and why we sit in the chair at the resturant when we eat out without getting angry or upset. You can reread the same story over and over and act like it is the first time you ever read the book to the little ones. Lisa is lucky to have a wonderful loving man to help her raise the children. The most important thing is you both are strong Christians and are raising the children that way. You both are wonderful parnets and good examples to those around you. Love you all.