Recently, a dear friend of mine lost his father. I told him how sorry I was and he said, “Thank you. It will be tough and I will miss him. He was always there.”
That reply stopped me cold in my tracks. I thought to myself, what a great way to be remembered. He was always there. Naturally, it gets one thinking about the relationship with your children and how you would be remembered.
I have written before about my mom and what she meant to me and how her loss profoundly affected me. When my friend said that about his dad, I immediately thought about my mom and one certain time.
I had cracked my sternum in a football game in junior college when I got laid out by a lineman on a crack back block. Football jargon for “you got the hell knocked out of you.” Mom wasn’t able to make the game because it was on a Monday afternoon so I was sent to the hospital overnight for observation. I woke up around 10, looked up and there she was. Drove 3 hours after work, sat with me, made sure I was going to be OK and headed back to Nashville in the morning.
She was always there.
I know things are different now with so many parents working and especially the single mom and dads who cannot be at every single activity their kids do, but that does not lessen their “presence.”
There is a great scene in the T.V. show ER that still sticks with me 25 years later. Anthony Edwards’ character did not like his father and George Clooney’s character felt the same way about his own dad. They argued about which dad was the biggest loser and then Clooney said, “You might hate your dad. But he was there every single night for you. And for your mom.”
Now does being there equal being a great parent? I only have my experience to answer in this. My father never attended a single sporting event in my life and from reading my posts, y’all know how I feel about him.
Back to my friend and what he said about his dad. Four simple words that speak volumes. He was always there.
May we all be remembered that way.
(James 3:13: Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life.)