Category Archives: Fathers

Hallmark Mom

Tina recently shared an interesting insight with me that came out of shopping for a birthday card for her mother. After reading several cards to find just the right one, she identified attributes that she too would like to possess as a mother. In other words, she was so moved by the many endearing words used to describe mothers in greeting card messages that she aspires to be a mother like that herself, the kind of mother typified in a greeting card. Tina wants it to be a challenge when Megan goes to buy her a card, an experience where every card is such a reflection of her own mother, that it requires careful contemplation in choosing the right one, the one that most closely depicts the exhaustive elements of her mother’s beauty.

What a great ambition. This has inspired me to do the same––to be a Hallmark Dad and a Hallmark Husband. Not to fit some stereotypical greeting card non-sense for the sake of conformity, but to epitomize that which is admirable and upright; to be the type of person that could be the inspiration for a greeting card message instead of the deviation from one; to be the rule rather than the exception; to be a benchmark by which all other fathers and husbands are measured.

How about you? Are you worthy of carrying the Hallmark seal on your back (think old ‘90s marketing campaign of flipping the card over to check for Hallmark branding)?


Happy Birthday Megan!

My little girl is growing up . . .

Her Eleventeenth (that’s 11 going on teenager) Birthday Party featuring Hawaiian luau theme, hamburgers, fruit kabobs, cookie cake, hula hoop match, water guns, water balloons, limbo contest, crafts, piñata, dance competition, five non-stop screaming girls, sleepover: $200.

Memories: Priceless

Whew! This old dad’s wore out!

In honor of . . .

Me? Say what? Yep, me. Only cause it was Father’s Day of course, not necessarily because I’m worthy. More on this later. But let me show you how my wonderful daughter , Meg, and my stunning wife, Tina honored me.

  • A cool card from Meg (it played the NFL Monday Night Football theme song; how cool is that?)
  • A sweet card from Tina
  • Julianne Hough CD (her first release –– think “Dance With the Stars”)

Tina also encouraged me to go to the bookstore and get something for myself (she was either sick or that’s real honor). Here’s what I got:

  • The Shack by William P. Young (as highly recommended by our small group)
  • And last but certainly not least, my favorite Father’s Day gift of all (drum roll please). . .

A rock. But not just any rock. A hand painted one by Meg that says “Dad Rocks” on one side and “#1” on the other. Custom gifts from special people are always the most thoughtful and memorable.

WOW! What a Father’s Day!

Now, I try to be the best dad I can be but I realize that I’m not perfect. I’m glad that Meg and Tina can see through my inadequacies and honor me the way they do. The way you honor your father on Father’s day almost says as much about you as it says about him. So here’s a radical concept to think about for those of you whose relationship with your father isn’t so favorable: Honor your father on Father’s Day anyway, not because of who he is but because of who you are. And if he’s not particularly honorable, honor the father you want him to be. Worse case scenario: you can feel good about yourself. Best case scenario: he’ll make some progress, and maybe even someday live up to your expectation.

Happy late Father’s Day!

A Real Piece of Work

My Dad is a real piece of work. Not the figure of speech “real piece of work” like you’re thinking, as in dishonest or poor in character, but quite the opposite. My dad is a piece of work like the Mona Lisa is for Da Vinci, or the Sistine Chapel is for Michelangelo, or the Moonlight Sonata is for Beethoven, or Hamlet for Shakespeare, or Falling Water for Frank Lloyd Wright . . . you get the picture (pun intended.) He’s a real masterpiece.

Wikipedia defines a masterpiece as “any work of art that is extraordinary.” And my Dad is nothing short of extraordinary. He is an original work of art designed and molded by Master hands. That doesn’t make him a perfect person or even a perfect father for that matter (there’s only One of those) but he is a perfect Masterpiece and the perfect dad for me.

Of course, by today’s standards, an extraordinary father isn’t much. If all you have is contact with your father, your doing far better than the majority of kids today. My dad, though, is the real deal, an absentee father by no means, the epitome of a good father, the quintessential dad. He’s the Vietnam vet, the coal miner, a husband of 38 years, the midget football coach, the school board candidate, the church goer, the entertainer, the survivor, the lifeguard, the solid rock. These are not some kind of empty descriptions of my dad used to honor him just because it’s Father’s Day. These are accurate accomplishments that speak more about who he is than about what he has done.

He is sacrificial, surrendering his college aspirations to fight for our country and its freedoms. He is a hard-worker, working a difficult and hazardous job as a coal miner to support his family and having the courage and fortitude to make a one-eighty occupationally when mining coal was mining him of his health (back problems). He is now “mining gold” of sorts, helping others invest their money wisely. He is the faithful husband, 38 years and counting, who always demonstrates (at least that I can remember) respect and love toward my mom. He is involved, not just because he was the midget football coach, but because he is the life coach and cheerleader, always there to guide and encourage us (my brother and I). He is an advocate, passionate toward good causes, running for school board when educational priorities were being neglected and starting a progressive non-profit organization to promote education in the school district. He is a man of faith, devoutly attending church on a weekly basis and serving as a lector. He is a constant source of humor, often finding the lighter side of things. Of course, one will never forget his performances in the annual adult lip sync, especially the Dirty Dancing re-enactment (“Nobody puts Baby in the corner!”). He is iron-willed, not giving in to foot surgery, ankle surgery, two back surgeries, an infection that left him unable to talk or walk for a period, chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant, with the passing of another year making him a nine year cancer survivor. And if that wasn’t enough, he withstood the stringent requirements of lifeguard certification just a few years ago that even some 18 years-olds couldn’t endure. Need I say more. My dad is rock solid––not just in character but in determination and physical stature as well.

Dad, I can’t think of anything more blogworthy today than you. If this is the official day set aside to honor fathers, then I couldn’t blog enough about the caliber father that you are. You are a model for other fathers to replicate. The good thing about a masterpiece is its originality––imitations are never quite as valuable. You are tops, Dad! I love you!