Minnesota Twins’ star and Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew once told this story about his dad:
“My father used to play with my brother and me in the yard. Mother would come out and say, "You're tearing up the grass." "We're not raising grass," Dad would reply. "We're raising boys."
Growing up, my dad was a very busy man -first as an architect and later as a small-business owner.
So I would really appreciate any time we could spend together.
I went over to Alabama last weekend to see him recognized for his decades of ministry as a deacon and was proud to see others honor him.
Now that he is battling Parkinson’s Disease and related issues, I wish I could take back time and return him to days of better health.
Days where he would stand on the sidelines to tape the halftime shows and take photos of me in our high school drum line
Afternoons where he or mom would sit in the baseball stands waiting for my turn to get off the bench and head to right field or second base.
Nights where he would teach us the importance of working hard to get where we want to be in life.
Weekends where we would spend hours cleaning our huge yard - only to do it again the next week.
As I cover games for the paper, I meet dads - all who love, and support their sons and daughters’ athletic efforts.
I enjoy getting to know them the four years or more they spend in the high school bleachers cheering their kids.
When my daughter was young, I was a summer league coach for her softball teams and I helped with her elementary level basketball program.
I missed a few of her high school games because I was covering another school’s teams for the newspaper.
But those I watched I was one of those dads who was thrilled when her team won and sad when they lost.
Now that she is an adult with a three-year old, I look back fondly to the time we spent riding to games with her teammates and the excitement to see her athletic skills improve as she grew up.
Hopefully some of those life lessons she learned from me will be carried on to her daughter.
Pope John XXIII once said, “It is easier for a father to have children than for children to have a real father.”
Educator Reed Markham wrote: “The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family.”
I am blessed to still have my dad to talk to and get a hug and handshake of support.
If you can, spend time with your dad today too.
If he has passed from this earth, spend the moments of today remembering the great times you spent together and thank God you had a very special father.
I ran across this prayer that is fitting for today:
“For fathers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them love and affection today and all days, we pray to God, our Father.
“For fathers who have lost a child through death, that they may find hope, and solace in your never-ending love, we pray to you, O God, our Father.
“For fathers who have died, that God may welcome them into that peaceful place that is without ending, we pray to you, O God, our Father.”