How do you express in mere words, thoughts of a life time?
How do I sit here as an adult looking back across time and in all honesty and appreciation, say thank you? Can mere words express in any form of adequacy the emotions in the thoughts?
How life has been this grand adventure, partly thanks to you and who you are.
I know that in the past, I have mentioned how you taught us to fish as soon as we could hold that cane pole. You made sure that we knew from digging worms, to rigging lines, to baiting our own hooks. We could catch and remove our catch. If they were keepers, we learned how to clean them as well. (Mom taught the cooking part thank goodness.)
I recall the time you took us with you to the carp lake and I found some old line still rigged up and managed to catch a Pike. I had never seen a fish with a mouthful of teeth such as that. You were not happy on several accounts. One I could have been bitten and two you didn’t pay for us to fish.
Those lessons came in handy years later as fishing fed me during that time in Louisiana. I also managed to catch something called a Red fish with only a line and hook just like I caught that Pike so many years prior. Amazed some guy watching as I pulled it in. My only question though was, “But can you eat it?”
You taught us compassion for animals and how to treat and train our dogs. You were never cruel in your training and having watched your methods have helped me with every dog we have ever had as part of our family. The compassion works on the cats too that show up around here, but forget any training. Even though now, I’ve watched you just by your presence make friends with even the feral cats that have been hanging around.
You taught us that if you build it, they will come. You didn’t build a full size ball field in a cornfield but you did cut out a makeshift one from the kudzu and poke plants. And they did come, and we have a blast. Playing softball with neighbors we hadn’t even met until then.
You taught us to be responsible. If we were going to have a job, we needed to be responsible and work that job. You worked your turn, you earned every moment of your retirement.
You have been my rock and my roll. Your sense of humor passed down has given us all a special appreciation for laughter. You taught us to be us, the individual we are. If the world doesn’t like it, that is the world’s problem not ours.
Thank you dad, for everything here and more. Thank you for being the best dad that we could have possibly asked for. You took care of us, loved us, taught us, encouraged us- even when it aggravated and frustrated mom to no end- to play. I am honored that now, I can do my part to help take care of you.