I gave my Daddy chocolate-covered pecans for Father’s Day, but this post isn’t about what I gave him.
I want to tell you about a few gifts he’s given me.
Some people want to relive their glory days.
Some talk about their athletic exploits as if they’re stuck in the past.
Others seem to try to live their dreams vicariously through their children.
Both of these scenarios always seem odd to me.
Maybe it’s because I didn’t play any sports beyond T-ball, but I think it’s something else.
Daddy was an athlete in high school, but apart from a few short stories he’s left those days behind.
Most of the stories I’ve heard are lessons he gleaned from coaches and carried throughout his life.
When I was a sportswriter, I watched a lot of “sports parents” in the stands.
I used to wonder what kind of “sports parent” Daddy would have been if I’d been able to play baseball or football like he did in high school.
He was a great one for my sister, and he’d have been a great one for me.
I’ll give you a few reasons why I know.
Daddy was a pitcher who knew his son wouldn’t ever hit a pitch in a game, but he pitched to me in the front yard anyway.
He knew I’d never stand on a mound and freeze a batter, but he taught me to throw a strike anyway.
He knew I’d never play a down on Friday night, but he tossed me passes and showed me how to throw a spiral anyway.
I wouldn’t trade the gift of those memories for all the no-hitters or touchdown tosses in the world.
Daddy did more than foster my love for sports.
He molded me into a man, and he gave me the gift of his example.
I know how to treat people with respect because he showed me how.
I know why I should because he showed me why.
He taught me the value of a dollar and an honest day’s work, because he let me work with him.
He taught me why it’s important to put Jesus first, and I’ve seen how to be a good partner from watching his marriage.
He’s taught me honesty, helpfulness and humor.
He’s taught me more than I have time to type here, and I’ve been blessed by all the things I’ve learned.
I think I’m most blessed by the love he’s shown, and the fact he’s never shy about it.
Daddy’s quick with a hug, and I can’t remember a day I saw him when he didn’t tell me he loved me.
I once wrote I hope to be half the man he is one day.
I’m still nowhere close, but the longer I live the more I realize how many gifts Daddy has given me and how much he is a gift from God.