The day started with an interesting question from Lisa. We had just finished our morning prayer time. We were laying in the bed chatting in those last few minutes before we had to get up and get going.
When Lisa starts a sentence like that, I know something good is about to come out. Usually its some great thought or a thought-provoking question. This morning it was this question. "What are your three best memories of your dad...not counting him being the biggest fan at all your ballgames growing up?"
For those who are newer to my blog, my dad passed away in February, 2004--just two months before the accident that took my wife and son. He was, indeed, one of my biggest fans (along with my mom) from the moment I stepped onto my first playing field at age 7. Her question got my head to thinking. With just a few words, Lisa had opened a flood gate of feelings and emotions that I had not thought about in many months.
I didn't realize how much I missed my dad. I shared my first two thoughts (actually, I cheated and rattled off about 6 or 7), then I paused. The last one was one of my favorite and I had purposely saved it to bring up the rear.
I've always been an early riser, even as a kid. Many mornings, I would get up early and cross the hall at our house in Columbus, Georgia. Daddy would have already shaved and crawled back into bed next to mom. I would slip around to his side of the bed and crawl in underneath the sheets. There, in the last minutes before the sun would crash through his window, daddy and I would lay and listen to "Cousin Al." (Cousin Al was a local radio personality on the AM dial who played country music, talked about RC Colas and moon pies and spun his own brand of homespun humor.). But as I recounted the memory to Lisa, I was pushed back in my mind to those mornings long ago. The warmth of my daddy as he put his huge arm around my shoulders. The smell of his after-shave as it cascaded around the pillow and sheets. Mom laughing at the two of us as we cackled at Al's goofy sense of humor.
I was a very blessed kid. I guess I still am. Do you really ever outgrow the positive impact of the people who mean the most to you growing up--moms and dads, teachers and coaches, grandparents? I know that, even 7 years after he has gone, my daddy still holds a powerful place in my heart and mind.
My prayer of thanks goes out today for all of those men who today hold the "daddy" role for someone. Not all of you are "fathers" but many of you are "daddies" in the truest sense of the word. And my prayer also goes out to so many who never knew their dad or never had the positive influence of a loving daddy in their life. I pray you may come to know the love of the best Father, indeed, the only Father who can love you purely.