Happy or Unhappy Father’s Day!

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fathersI hope you have a happy Father’s Day! More importantly, I hope you have a father in your life!!!

I had a pretty good one, but he passed away a while back. I miss him, and there were things to miss. I am sorry for the millions of young people who don’t have fathers around. Some do have fathers who live with them, but they are physically, emotionally and spiritually absent from the home. If you are living with your kids, make the most of it, even though it is hard. They will be gone, and all you will have is good memories, bad memories or few memories.

I am now in the grandparent mode, so Father’s Day isn’t that big of a deal and I am OK with that.

Days of celebration, weren’t important when I was growing up and that is a negative part of my father’s legacy. Too often, he wanted his way, rather than loving his wife or kids.

I have learned to be different and rather than bag on the old man, I am going to give him some props. Give your Dad love today and other days if you still have a relationship. Tell him you love him, forgive him, take him for a Happy Meal, wash his car, and give him a hug or a gift, but just love on him, in one of the hundred ways we can. He will not be around forever.

My Dad loved learning and was an avid reader. I am the same way. He taught us to read at the early age of 3-4 and books were always a part of our life. I will always be reading 2-3 books at a time until my eyes wear out.

Pop was also one who liked to think outside the box. He was creative and liked to do things with his hands to save a buck or do something different. He built a 46 foot sailboat, remodeled many a veterinary clinic and did some pretty average work around the house. My house looks pretty nice, and I built two basketball hoops around the big pool and the hot tub in the backyard. You can see my dad’s influence in my handiwork. Not the best carpenter, but the kids love my work.

Dad built his kids one of the best tree houses in El Centro when I was growing up. Last year, I tore down the tree house I built for my grandson in the backyard. I was building it while my Dad’s health was failing, partly in his honor, and also just a way to cope with grief.

Grandpa Jack, as he was called by others, was also was a standup guy. He stood up for what he believed in. He home-schooled me and my other siblings and went to jail over it in the early ‘60’s. Buy me coffee and I will tell you the whole story.

Although Pop wasn’t an athlete, he helped me and my brother become All-Stars in baseball and my brother is an outstanding coach in North San Diego County and a scout for the Atlanta Braves. We had dreams and desires. He supported us in becoming very successful in our sports and we both played college baseball. If he agreed with your plans, he would support you.

The man was not without defects. There is only one perfect Father and that is the Lord Jesus. You don’t have to be a bad father, regardless of what you grew up with. God’s gives us a brain to make better choices than we saw. My Dad left Mom and the marriage, never managed his veterinary business very well and was emotionally unavailable to his adolescent children. He messed up, but on the balance scale of parenting, I do give him a positive pass. Give your Pop some props. If he was never around, give some love, or a card to some other man who helped grow you. Expressing love to the men in your life, will help you be a better father and just make your Father’s Day happier!