Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Sunday musings, On Father’s Day

Sunday musings (on Father’s Day)…

1) Perfectionist. “His sense of pride was often too much for his ego to handle.”

2) Gift. This morning, chez bingo, there was an exchange of thanks, an exchange of “Happy Father’s Day” good mornings. The easy, traditional one came my way from Mrs. bingo, of course. I, in return, sent one right back to her.

Think about it for a moment. This “Father” thing is impossible without the participation of a mother. Oh sure, you can toss your genome at a vessel and take home a package, but to be a real Father on the ground, “in country” so to speak, you must have a mother along for the ride. The ride is most often better, smoother and easier, if both of the front seats are occupied.

If you are a Father somebody gifted you with that child. Carried him or her for 9 months, the ultimate “weight vest”, before handing you the job of Dad. Maybe did it more than once, too! Give her a hug today. Thank her for a Happy Father’s Day.

3) Memories. Most of us have (or had) a Dad who played a role in our lives. Mostly good, often hard, unfortunately not so good in some cases, but undoubtedly memorable in all cases. We have memories. At some point memories are all we have.

Most families have a “thing”, a certain activity or place or topic around which memories orbit. Maybe it’s a vacation spot to which your family returns as inexorably as the swallow of Capistrano or the Monarch Butterflies of Brazil. For some it’s not the location so much as what transpires there. Think family dinner here where the memories are of nightly discourse covering anything from poetry to pugilism, a travel of the mind more than the body.

When it comes to Fathers it’s often a case of the child inheriting the father’s chosen sport. As I think of this a hundred images appear of tiny children tagging along as their Dad does whatever it is he does. Invisibly tethered to their father by sharing his time with his passion, all the while being infected by that passion themselves. I see little girls in oversized wellies holding their Daddy’s hand, his other cradling a shotgun, as they trudge through a marsh. A Dad’s bare feet submerged just off the dock as a tiny son’s size 2’s dangle feet above that same pond while bobbers float just out of view.

For us it was golf, for my brother and me at least. Father’s Day meant getting up an hour or so before Dad, cramming in random calories, and then walking to the caddy shack for another Saturday loop. Except on this Saturday the caddy master tossed us a bone and put us in my Dad’s group. We were pretty good caddies, my brother and I, and my Dad was a more than pretty good golfer. He made sure to make his game with other of the better golfers on Father’s Day. Good caddies always make for better golf, and 4 good golfers squired by 2 good caddies makes for a very good round. Those are some good memories.

We grew to be good friends on the golf course, my Dad, my brother, and I. On one magical morning Ranbingo and I became men, at least in the golf sense. One Saturday morning (sadly not a Father’s Day) we headed to the first tee with Dad not as caddies but as real golfers. Partners in his foursome, with caddies of our own. In time we were joined by a brother-in-law as we towed our Dad along on a decades long golf odyssey. We’d found our connection, and like the little girl in her Wellies and the little boy with dangling toes we kept ourselves tethered to our Dad through his passion.

And we made memories.

That’s all that’s left now, the memories. We’ll not try to remember what we have now. These newer memories will not sing as sweetly and so we will try to erase them as soon as they arise. Rather, we will try to share those other, older memories with Dad as the tether frays. Until that one day when we hold our end of the tie and it lies quietly against our side, empty, nobody there to whom we are tethered.

If we are fortunate we reach out a hand and it is filled with tiny fingers, and we walk to wherever tethered to tiny little legs that struggle to keep up as they chase our passion with us. We feel the stillness, the emptiness on the other side where we were once tethered ourselves. If we are very fortunate we realize that maybe we still are. Tethered, that is.

Tethered to the memories of when we were the child of a Father so gifted.

Happy Father’s Day.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at June 16, 2013 6:24 AM


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