As a Reverend and Chaplain his work entailed ministering to our community, a job which he took to heart. I learned the importance of volunteering and public service from my Dad. I still remember the way he looked in his Navy whites, even though I was tiny the last time he wore them. Towards the end of his life he had shifted from leading churches to ministering to inmates. He led a service every week for men who were not able to attend Sunday services because of their past history. Dad never condoned the crimes these men had committed, but his faith in a forgiving God was unwavering.
I don't want to paint a perfect picture of him, which is easy to do when someone is gone... but today is a day to honor him, and so I will just say that I couldn't have asked for better. Missing him is something I will live with until I go home for good and get to walk the streets of gold together.
God didn't stop there though. For the past 6 years I've had a pretty awesome Step-dad. Our relationship was rocky for a long time, and honestly we are still learning each other. The best thing about Bill is the sheer volume of his love for my Mom. He is always there for my sisters and I when we truly need him, and he pushes... pushes us to try harder, to be more independent.. to break the mold.
Bill is a retired Marine and is very involved with the AA in our area. It's funny how my Mom found someone who is incredibly differently, but eerily similar to my Dad. Bill has never treated my sisters or myself as anything other than his girls. And when it comes to the grand-babies... he has that touch. As much as my nephew L looks my Dad, many of his mannerisms are Bill's.
Although my precious nieces and nephews will never know the man I grew up calling Dad, they have a Grandpa any child would be delighted to love.
Happy Father's Day!