Did you know that the average life expectancy for an American male is 76 years old? That’s how old my Dad would have been today, June 26, 2015. Back in December, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He fought for six months before God, in His loving kindness, took my dad home to heaven. There is much I could write, and a lot of thoughts are in my head, but here is one big thing: I get to write great things about my dad. Not too many people can say that: I get to write great things about my dad.
If you did not know him, my dad was not flashy. He did not climb Everest. He was not the President of the United States. No one is going to write a best-seller about his accomplishments. But, he loved God. He loved his wife. He loved his kids and grandkids. He served his country. He served his church. He cared about people. He may not have been flashy, but I get to write great things about my dad.
You see, my dad didn’t have a dad. My grandfather left my grandmother when my dad was just 3. My grandmother raised two boys as a single parent. I’m honestly not sure how she did it. They both turned out to be fine Christian men. Each of them married, had children & grandchildren, and have faithfully served in different churches for decades.
I remember one day when I was in high school: my dad was walking across the yard while building a tree-house for my brother. I was standing in the kitchen with my mom and she said, “I don’t think I could have married a better father for my children.” That is an amazing thing for a wife to say about her husband! My father didn’t have a father, yet he was still able to be a great father!
A few weeks ago my eight-year-old son asked me, “Dad, if you could go back in time, what would you do?” I hadn’t really thought about it, but I clued into the reality that he asked the question because he was thinking through something. So, I asked him, “I’m not sure bud. If you could go back in time, what would you do?”
He replied, “I’d go back and take more bike rides with Pop-pop.”
You see, my dad (affectionately known as “Pop-pop” to his grandkids) enjoyed reading his Bible and going for bike rides. When we went to my parent’s house for the funeral, I asked my mom for two things: my dad’s Bible and his bike. Those were two physical possessions that he spent a lot of time with. So today, while remembering my dad, I spent some time in the Bible and some time riding my bike.
If I could go back, I’d take more bike rides with “Pop-pop.” But since I can’t, I am so glad that I get to write great things about my dad.
Thanks for all the memories Dad. I love you and miss you! Maybe one day we’ll ride bikes on streets of gold together. Oh yeah, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
* I took this picture in June of 2014. This was the last time me, my boys, and Pop-pop got to ride bikes together. My dad’s brother went with us too.