what i learned from my dad

I didn’t learn how to talk to people from my father. I learned that the words you say to another man mean something. That’s the kind of stuff I learned from my dad. Not how to talk to people, not to convers, not to chitchat because my dad never did it. Not to be comfortable around strangers because my dad never was and I’m not. It’s that your words mean something. I wonder. I’m away from the family an awful lot because I work an awful lot, but I don’t work probably more than you do. I work 8 hours a day and then I go to church, work some more, then come home.  I’m home on the weekends if there isn’t church stuff to do.  I’m home every Sunday with them.  But I wonder. My dad, he never said to me, he never taught me how to work. He never told me how to work, but I know I work like my father does. My dad worked his tail to the bone. That’s the work ethic I have and because of that work ethic, my family will change. My family has oppurinities. Because of my father’s work ethic, I have oppouranties that he didn’t have. Because of my work ethic, my children have opportunities that I didn’t have. And not just because we don’t live out in the sticks. 

So I’m looking at my dad maybe today in a different light. Maybe we should. My father was there for all the school banquets. He may have still had dirt from the field on his shoes, no kidding. He still may have greese under his fingernails, but he didn’t miss the banquets.  He was busy supporting the family, but I never, ever once doubted my father’s love for me, never once. I didn’t do all the things that, you know, I saw — what was that show the little house in the pasture. I didn’t have the relationship that ‘Pa had with his kids. But I knew that my father loved me. I think patti’s kids do as well. Maybe we’re not sopoused to learn all the things that we learn from our mother. Maybe we’re trying to put our dad in the category of mom, and dad doesn’t belong in the catgeory of mom. Dad belongs in the category of dad, not the category of mom. Why are we spending so much time thinking about what we didn’t have with our dad? You know what? Because we spend so much time thinking about what we didn’t have with our dad, we forget what we do have with our dad. We forgot what we did learn from our dad. I learned how to be tough. I learned how to be honest. I learned how you look a man in the eye and you’r handshake means something. Your word is your bond. I learned to take care of my family. I learned that it is a man’s responsibility to make sure you can put food on the table. I learned that it was a man’s responsibility to do whatever it took to make sure his family was safe and well cared for. I learned work ethic from my dad. I learned how to be a man from my dad. Never anything he taught me. He didn’t teach me how to shoot a gun, he didn’t teach me how to go fishing. Never went to a drag race with my dad. But that’s kids stuff. At some point we’ve got to leave the kids stuff behind and we’ve got to look at the man stuff. Forget about what happened in the past. Did your dad teach you how to be a man. Mine did. I’m grateful for that. Maybe we should spend some time today thinking about the man stuff, not the kid stuff, not the, "Oh, I scraped my booboo, give me a hug" stuff but the man stuff. There’s a shortage of not only oil in this country today. I think there’s a shortage of men. There’s a shortage of people who will just pull themselves up by the bootstrap and say, you know what, enough is enough; get the hell out of my way, let a man through here; I’ll take care of it. Maybe this Father’s Day — you know what? Maybe this Father’s Day you just need to give a card to your dad that says, thanks for helping me man up. And you don’t mean that in a bad way. Mean that in a good way. Dad, thanks for helping me man up. I’m glad I’m a man.