Hi, friends. I pray you are well today. I have a few posts running through my head, but the second I read this email my husband forwarded to me from his brother, I felt it would bless you as well. May we all live such a life of faithfulness and service to others. Be blessed this Monday after Father’s Day. Thank you, Scott, for being able to voice what many of us have thought……
Father’s Day, 2009
God gave me a gift this morning when I woke up. Well, the second time I woke up, he gave me a second gift. The first came when I first woke up to see my grandson Grayson standing next to my bed with his face about six inches away from mine. I don’t know how long he had been standing there, but after we both got over our initial shock of recognition, I grabbed him and pulled him into bed with me. Amazingly, we both fell back asleep (perhaps another gift) since we were still recovering from our first annual family camping trip in the hill country. Some time later, he did stir and need to jump up and do something else like any normal four, almost five year old needs to do. I returned to my rest, and when I did finally make a move in the direction of really waking up, I reached out for my alarm clock to see what time it was.
6:42 – If you knew my Dad, what I am about to relate is old news, but for the uninitiated, you need some background. The older I get, the harder it is for me to succinctly define my Dad. He married his Jr. High sweetheart and when he died, they were just two months away from their 50th wedding anniversary. He was an athlete who played basketball for the University of Kansas and semi pro for the Air Force where he served as a training sergeant. His role as a drill instructor either shaped who he was to become, or was just the perfect fit for who he really was. Outgoing and confident, he chose sales as a career, starting with vacuum cleaners and eventually becoming a life insurance agent. He did a number of years in management in the insurance business, but ultimately returned to sales, probably for the ability to enhance his income through increased effort. In spite of his knowledge and abilities, I don’t believe that my Dad ever worked to get rich. Instead, I think he worked primarily because of what it enabled him to do outside of work. Looking back what he did outside of work is really woven into what he did at work, but it became what truly defined him as a person. My dad was a Scoutmaster. It doesn’t really matter if you have any firsthand experience with Scouting, because although you can probably find a description of what a Scoutmaster is and does, that definition would just barely scratch the surface of what my Dad was. Perhaps I should rephrase and say, my dad was the Scoutmaster.
As a small boy, my mind and interests were in other places, so my memories aren’t that clear as to when Dad started his real career as Scoutmaster. I remember going camping on occasion long before I was old enough to actually be a Boy Scout. I remember something magical or mysterious about the box that held my Dad’s patches and merit badge sash that he had earned as a boy. He was an Eagle Scout from Troop 1 in Hutchinson, Kansas. His Scoutmaster was like a second father to him. Troop 11 at the First Presbyterian Church in Houston was I believe where he first became “Scoutmaster.” When I was in the 4th grade, we moved to a different part of town, and shortly after he became the Scoutmaster for Troop 642 at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church. For over thirty years he served in that role. The numbers six, four and two are indelibly imprinted into my brain.
Scouting was something my Dad and I shared more than anything else. Whenever I had the chance, I would return and go camping, or to a summer camp or camporee. In this he was timeless, because the kids kept coming in as awkward little 11 year old boys and growing up and moving on as confident and most often Eagle Scout young men, but he just remained the same. When my son became old enough, we started Scouting, and as fate would have it, I had the opportunity to become a Scoutmaster as well. I was amazed by all of the memories of my days as a Scout that came flooding back to me once I started back in the program. My dad was still actively serving as Scoutmaster as well, and it was great to share this new dimension as well. On several occasions we were able to camp together and my son was able to go with his Grandfather on some special trips that he wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do.
Since he died, I am often reminded of him when I look at the clock and the time reads 6:42. When I can, I try to take some time to reflect or just remember a special moment with him. 642 ties me back to my Dad, but there is a lot more there than just the Scouting. In a classic way, my Dad really was my hero. He scared me to death, but I could not have loved him more. My memories of working with him on a home repair project, or going to the hardware store on a Saturday morning, shopping at the last minute for my Mom’s Christmas present, or in later years when my two brothers, Dad and I would go to Las Vegas and act silly for a couple of days once a year are many faceted.
So, this father’s day morning when I looked at the clock and it reminded me of my Dad, it was a gift to just lay there and for a few minutes try to recall his face, and voice, his presence. He was as flawed as he was amazing, and it was a special gift this morning to just remember. Thanks Dad.
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