The framed print in this picture of my dad with my son says, “Choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 It has been a theme in our family for generations and because of my dad’s legacy, it will continue for many more.
He gave up the quiet during his early morning commute. For the majority of three years, he listened to me chatter about friends, boys and all the drama teens can create. My world probably seemed like silliness and angst on his way to work, but he never let on. Quietly, he drove me to a high school forty-five minutes away so that I would not have to run from the bullies anymore. I never told him then, but he was my hero.
Quiet. That is what my dad has always been. Quietly, he corrected me and guided me in the way I should go. Quietly, he listened to me argue, even scream and cry. Quietly, he watched me make the wrong choices and saved me when I had gone too far. Quietly,he disciplined me and told me I could do better. He even quietly offered mercy and gave me privileges I did not deserve.
Listened. He has always listened whether what I said was worthy or not. Waiting for the right time, he only spoke in confidence and with wisdom. I now look back on many moments and question why he let me speak at all. I was such a cocky young thing, a constant babbling brook. Even now, I hear in his silence the waiting for wisdom. He teaches me in the quiet.
Dad, there are so many words I wish I could take back. So much drama I would like to erase. I read this morning that, “By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he’s wrong.” (Charles Wadworth) Perhaps, the rebellion of my youth was a chance to learn about parenting from you. For, I pray to be more like you and less like myself when faced with my own children who think I don’t know anything.
Looking back over the years, there are so many more things I am thankful for.
Thank you, Dad,
For tickle fights and getting my gizards.
Thank you for sharing your hobbies with me,
For introducing me to your love of music
And giving me the chance to love horses,
For letting me tag along on photo shoots
And treating me like a princess when I was your subject.
Thank you for loving God, his word and the church.
Thank you for passing that love onto me.
I love you, Dad.