Posted by: Ed | September 25, 2008

REFLECTIONS ON MY DAD’S BIRTHDAY

Today is my dad’s birthday. He has been dead for some time now.

I am blessed to have had a very interesting dad. He sold vacuums for a living. For my entire life he owned Kirby Distributorship. All of my growing up jobs involved working for him & in his business. So even though my dad worked long hours (as a kid he routinely came home after we were in bed), I feel like I spent a good deal of time with him especially between Jr High & College years.

Here are some interesting things about my dad if you care to know them:

√ I have NEVER seen him in jeans, ever! He always wore slacks & a button up shirt. He wore Bermuda shorts at the beach or trunks, but never jeans, even camping.

√ He served in the navy in WW2 & was on a ship that was sunk in a naval battle in the Philippines. He narrowly escaped being a POW or worse when for unexplained reasons the Japanese fleet changed course.

√ He was one of those “grew up in the depression” people whose reaction was to spend freely. We ate out more than any of our friends, we always owned a boat, we had mini bikes. He sold vacuums to butchers & took meat out in trade to the point that it was common for my 2 brother’s & I to complain “steak AGAIN?”

√ My dad was generous to a fault. He left big tips, grabbed checks, had people who worked for him stay at our house when need be, brought our friends from the neighborhood on virtually every fun trip we ever took.

√ He had the classic salesman personality. I don’t think I ever had the thought, “my dad is uncomfortable in this social situation”. I’m pretty sure there was not one, even one, introverted impulse in his body.

√ He loved sports. He saw them as a metaphor for life. I heard the same stories of his various playing days over & over. He made it clear who we were root for & who NOT to root for (I once had a friend thrown out of our house for cheering for the Packers – seriously)

Our family wasn’t Leave it to Beaver. There are lots of things I have tried to do differently, chief of which was to make Christ the center of our casa. But you can see some things after the fact that you can’t in the moment & I bless God for giving me the dad & mom that he did.

He was there! My parents stayed married. I took it for granted then. I don’t now.

He provided. He was proud of it. I took it as a given then. I don’t now.

He gave me a worldview. We talked business, economics, politics, religion, science, culture. Although not educated beyond high school, he had a wealth of experience, common sense and a good mind. I assumed this was universal. I don’t now.

He became a Christ follower before he died. I never took this for granted.

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Responses

  1. Wow, he sounds like he was a great guy. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Ed, my father’s birthday is tomorrow, Sept.25th and he is also dead. But based on what you wrote, I think your dad and my dad may have had two things in common; generosity and passion. Thank you for helping me remember my dad through your writing about yours’. Speaking of which, when I was a kid in the 80’s, we had season tickets to the Chargers and my dad always let me bring friends to the games (and on trips). They (the Chargers) will not break your heart. You just have to love them like a good parent loves her child; through the good, bad and ugly. Blessings.

    FYI – Community connection tonight rocked.

  3. PS – Dad in many ways could have been more of a Christ follower and less of a Cassanova. But, he was brilliant and loved words. Thus, he would read me the 23rd psalm and say, “Isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t that beautiful?”…

  4. He threw out a Packers fan? Wow, that’s hardcore. A Raiders fan, I could understand. It’s awesome how the love and admiration you have for your father jump off the page. I feel the same way about my Dad. It was his birthday this month (the first without him) and I miss him terribly.

  5. Lord Bless you today, bro!

  6. Wow, thanks for sharing about your dad. My dad was my best friend, he passed away a little over 2 years ago. The first time I sang with the Journey worship team was on my dad’s birthday, July 11th. It was a very special time for me because while he was well, he would always call and encourage me on the day I had to minister.

  7. Eddy,

    I so enjoyed your commentary on your dad….. I have been in a reflective mood of my own regarding my two parents lately and especially my father. I have come to realize in the last 15 to 20 years how much he did do for his kids, though I never ever gave him credit before. I can relate to Mark Twain who said (Blane paraphrased)

    “When I was a boy of 16, my father was such an idiot, I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had grown up and learned in 5 years.”

    So true for Twain, so true for many of us……. Over the last several months, I have begun implementing the “old school” art of hand written letters to each my daughters. And I have been pondering doing the same for my dad, I need to take the time and effort and share with him in a letter what he has meant to me…..before I know it that chance will be gone, and I too would be writing or telling others what I should have shared with him in the “living years”. (by the way a good “Mike and the Mechanics” song!)

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about your Dad, my Dad has been gone over 3 years now and oh how I miss him terribly. Knowing we will see them one day is a blessing though. Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts about your Father.


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