I spent the weekend at a Family Reunion in a small rural town in North Texas where my father and his parents grew up.
Every year we remember those who have not made it through another year and typically visit their grave site.
He knows every one who ever lived in that little town, or so it seems, and he has never met a stranger. He is one of the most giving people you could imagine.
We talked about getting his stories on paper someday before he is no longer around to tell them.
WAIT! That’s not possible. MY DAD will ALWAYS be around to tell those old stories.
He’s told them to me hundreds of time, and to my children as well. So much that I now tell the stories myself as we drive through town.
Certainly, he will still be around to tell those stories to my grand children when they are old enough to understand, won’t he?
My Dad is not only important to me, but to everyone in the family. He’s the key that keeps it going. He is the heart of our family, and I cannot imagine anyone who would disagree.
Everyone I talk to in this small town, family and friends alike tell me how fortunate I am to have grown up with him as my father.
I have to admit there have been times when I didn’t know what I would have done without him.
4 years of college as a single parent with my Dad making sure the electricity stayed on; buying my first house with the money my Dad gave me for a graduation gift; enrolling my daughters for college with my Dad’s credit card.
These things were important, but those are not the things that make my Dad the heart of the family:
- He may be stubborn and passed that trait on to me, but he always means well.
- He always make a point of telling you that he is proud of you. He not only makes this point with my siblings and I, but my cousins, my friends; everyone he knows.
- He tells you like it is. He often waxes philosophical when he sits you down for a talk.
- He remembers the good old days as well as the bad. Things have not always gone in his favor, but he has always trusted that things would work out in the end.
- He has instilled in all of us the duty of supporting our families and keeping God first.
I plan to have him take me on a tour of his hometown next May when we return so that I can finally get his stories on tape.
I don’t always remember the details, but when he tells it the story never changes. He tells the story every time as if he lived it yesterday.
Having those stories in his voice will keep him alive for generations after he is gone so that they too will have the pleasure of learning from the heart of the family.