Father’s Day

While writing what was going to be my post this week, I took a little break and decided to call my dad. In years past I have attempted to call him on the day of the occasion, about 50% of the time he hasn’t been at home to answer the phone. I guess that his busy schedule always takes him out and about on special days and of course Father’s day is one of those days. So I decided to call him early this time.

My brother and sister live in the same town that he does and I am about 1800 miles away so I don’t have the chance to see him much and I don’t stay up with his day to day activities like they do. The last several years I figured that he would be slowing down a bit. He is after all only 95 years old, but today during our conversation I got to glimpse a little deeper into a man that I love and respect very much.

I sat back and dialed his number. His phone rang a couple of times and he answered with a very sharp “Hello”! I said “Dad, how are you?” To which he responded with an equally sharp “Steve is that you?” I was a little taken-aback, he isn’t usually that quick on the draw but I said “yes it is, how are you this morning?” He said “Hold on for a second, I need to move to a more comfortable chair” and with that I could hear him navigating his way to his favorite seat.

There was a lot of scuffling sounds and I could hear him finally sitting in his chair and positioning himself to get comfortable for our conversation. A few minutes passed and things became very quiet on his end of the line. I thought that I would give him a gentle reminder that he was talking to someone on the phone so talking a little louder I said “Dad, are you there? Can you hear me?” Thirty seconds passed and I detected another familiar sound which I was sure was a snoring sound. I again tried to get his attention by calling to him but I could tell by the volume of his snores that he was out for the count for a while.

I giggled to myself, hung the phone up and remembered that my brother and sister told me that he was doing this much more often and that this was normal for him to nod off for about 10 to 15 minutes and when wakes up he is refreshed and has a spurt of energy for a while.

I gave him 20 minutes and called back. He answered the phone as sharp and crisp as he did the first time. We never discussed his little departure from our first conversation and as usual had a wonderful conversation for the next 15 minutes or so.

We reminisced about all the great vacations that we had spent together, the camping and fishing trips and of course no conversation is complete without the “Golf” conversation. He played up until he was 90 years old and he loves the game.

I could tell that he was beginning to tire so I wished him a happy Father’s day and told him that I loved him and that I would stay in touch. We said our good-bye’s.

It wasn’t until later in my life that I finally discovered what the impact of these calls and visits have had. I knew that he always appreciated hearing from me, but it took me a while to learn that he too wanted our conversations to mean something to me.

I haven’t always agreed with him nor have I always liked his ideas or remedies but I have a profound respect for what he does think and say and have found that if I take his advice, things tend to work out for the better.

I am very fortunate to still have my father here. God willing he will be with us for many years to come. For those fortunate enough to have your father still here, call him. If you’re not getting along, even more important to call him.

Happy Father’s Day all you dad’s out there and God bless you…..