Friday, November 20, 2009

My Dad. My Hero.

I have great parents.

When I was growing up, I always wanted to have kids. And, I figured that if I could be just half of what my parents were...then I’d be doing pretty well.

Then, I became a parent, and it hit me. I’m a father! I am half of what my parents were. Mission accomplished!

Now, if only I could somehow get to be half of what my father is. That’s the real test. Because, truth be told. That bar is pretty high. It may never happen.

He truly is an incredible man.

I’ve known my dad since I was born. And over the years, he has passed many of his traits onto me.

I have the Boyle nose…just like him. It took me a while to embrace it, but I love it now (see Boyle Nose).

I shake my leg, whenever I’m sitting down relaxing…just like him. My wife is annoyed by my habit, every bit as much as my mom is annoyed by his.

I whistle in the car…just like him. I even do tunes that he’s whistled, since I was child, and I still have no idea what songs they are.

I have his sense of humour, his enjoyment of sport and his love of family.

I also like to think that there are many character qualities that we share as well, but I will leave those for others to point out. Because, although I strive to be like him in so many areas of character, I don’t feel I match up in most of them.

My dad loves unconditionally. He serves without strings attached. He sacrifices constantly. He gives, more than, generously. He leads with humility. He’s not just patient…he’s long-suffering. And, he doesn’t raise his voice, because he doesn’t need to.

My dad is the best example of Jesus I’ve ever known, and it is by his loving example, that I properly understand God as Father.

I could fill pages with stories and examples of all that makes my dad so special, but I've chosen to highlight just a few.

1) My dad gives freely...and cheerfully.
I still can’t believe that he handed over his '92 World Series tickets to me and my sister. He certainly didn’t know Joe Carter would hit such a monumental and dramatic home run, but I don’t doubt, for one minute, that he hoped his kids would see something that special.

And, after it happened, I don’t believe he regretted his sacrifice, either. In fact, even if he did know such a moment was going to happen. I think he would have given us the tickets anyways!

2) My dad pays attention to the little things.Every day after work, when I was growing up, he would arrive home with chocolate bars for my mom, sister and myself. It was always our favourite kind, and no matter how many times my favourite changed (O-Henry, Mars, Smarties, Mr. Big, Kit Kat, Aero…), he always brought home the right one.

3) My dad is always there.
He’s attended every pivotal moment of my well as every baseball game, school play, special speaking opportunity or any other event that has been important to me. Now, I know “every” is an exaggeration, but it certainly feels like it’s true.

If he could make it…he’d be there.

For years, I’d be playing ball and look up to see my dad, reading his paper, in the stands. Sometimes it looked like he wasn’t paying attention, but after every game, he’d tell me how I played. He was watching.

4) My dad is 100% behind me following my dreams.Heidi (my wife) tells me that she is my biggest fan. But, I disagree. Because, even though my dad has never uttered those words, I know that he’s my biggest fan. He has done everything humanly possible to make sure that I’ve been able to pursue those things that I love to do.

And one day, somehow, I’ll be able to repay him.

5) My dad doesn’t care if he’s repaid.____________________________________

Today is my dad’s birthday. I won’t tell you how old he is; although I don’t think he’d really care. But, I will tell you that he is older than me…and my sister – just not combined.

But, what do you give a man, who doesn’t seem to want or need anything beyond what’s best for those around him? I’ve struggled with this for years, so I just keep getting him books.

Well this year – along with a book – I want to simply say,

Thanks, dad! For everything…and beyond. I love you more than you’ll ever know. You are the most awesome dad (and "papa") in the world. You have been, are, and always will be…my hero.

Have a wonderful birthday. You deserve it.


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