Nearly 32 years ago, I was blessed with another special dad. Having known him for many years before then, it wasn't until I joined his family that I really began to realize what kind of man he really was.
Things I already knew about this dad...
He was the father of three sons
He was the manager of the local supermarket
He always took his family to church
He led the church choir
He was a remarkable singer
He had an oldest son that I had a crush on since 8th grade...
Well, I later married that oldest son and entered a male dominated world. This dad was still working hard for his family and had instilled a work ethic and set of values in his son that can still be recognized today. He was going to church and sang every chance he was given.
At one point years ago, he was my boss at work. Imagine the pressure of having your father-in-law as the district manager over your department...especially a supervisor who towered over you in height, and whose deeeeep bass voice carried strong authority. Someone once nicknamed him the "Big T Package" because he was so formidable and caused fear in the hearts of anyone that was not doing their job as they should or happened to be slacking off.
This dad just believed that everyone should do something right the first time and give 100% or not do it at all. I stood intimidated by the "Big T Package" with the rest of them...not because I wasn't doing my job well but because I was always afraid of disappointing him. He always made me want to do my very best. Luckily I was never fired or anything...
Let me tell you, his bark is worse than his bite...
Several times during the early years, when our family was growing and we were working to make ends meet, I would find out after the fact that this dad would hand his son a fold of money and say,
" Here, I remember how it was...use this to help with the kids' Christmas."
Or maybe the car we had was about to give out and we couldn't afford repairs, much less another car, and this dad would say to his son,
"Let's see if we can work a deal to help you get another car."
This dad is just like that...looking out for others and helping all he can...expecting nothing in return.
He is retired now, and enjoys working in the yard, building projects, and cooking. Every once in a while he will call me and ask,
"How do you like to cook your pork loins?" or
"Let me tell you about something I cooked the other night."
This dad lives out in the country and enjoys visiting around at some of the different small rural churches in the area. He always comments about the music and if they sing from the "Red Back Hymnal".
The grands and great grands call him PawPaw and love to be around him because he just lets them be themselves and sits and grins and laughs at their antics. He still speaks with that deeeeeep bass voice but there is
No intimidation going on here...
Just love and happiness and thankfulness...
Thank you, Harry,
for the many sacrifices you made,
and for raising your children...
To honor and respect others
To appreciate the important things in life
To be faithful to their families
To reverence the Lord...
and thank you too
for making me
feel like a real