Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father's Day 2013 and my Pop-Pop

I run into a lot of dads at my store.  Some very young, some old.  Many of them have had the privilege of taking their son or daughter fishing or hunting for the first time.  Some come in for sports equipment.  Some go shooting with their kids.  While their job is often ridiculed in this day and age (I mean have you watched a Disney sitcom lately?  The dad is basically a buffoon!) it is important.  This is true of grandfathers as well.

I want to tell you a story about my grandfather, who is now in his 100's.  He doesn't always remember our family, or even who he is any more.  I went to visit him a couple months ago and he asked what I did for a living.  I told him I owned a sporting goods store.  He saw my shirt with the logo and shook his head.   He is hard of hearing but has great vision, so I wrote on his dry erase board, "You gave me my first fishing rod"  He looked at me.  I wrote "it was a green Zebco rod and reel."  He said, "I remember that" in a tone of someone remembering something they had long forgotten, but not purposely.  I wrote to him that he had taken me fishing the first time I ever went.  He said, "I remember."  I wrote, "We didn't catch a thing!"  He chuckled.  I have to admit my eyes were watery at this point.  My grandfather was the first father figure I had.  He taught me to garden, to fish, to fix things, to be good to people and to be wise about my friends.  He is part of the reason I am the person I am today.  I followed him around like the paparazzi follows celebrities.  I am thankful for him and, as his time on earth nears an end, it is hard to see that hero so weak and frail.  It reminds me of the brevity of life, though.  If you are a dad, please, don't let work or any other thing be more important than your kids.  Life is so short.  No one ever said, "I wish I would have spent more time working" at the end of their life.  This Father's Day, let your kids know how much you love them and if you haven't up to this point, resolve to spend more time with them.