Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there!  Sometimes it can seem no one appreciates what dads do!

I have told you all about my family, some of you doubt we were as bad as all that.  Trust me, you don’t know the half of it.  It was not all bad however.  I remember having to be up way early (before sunrise) one morning.  I got dressed and went out to our lanai (screened in patio) to wait for my ride.  I was just about to turn a light on when a voice said:  “Don’t do that.”  It scared the heck out of me, then I noticed the red glow of dad’s cigarette.  I asked him what he was doing out here – in the dark.  He told me he gets up early and just sits out here and listen to the birds.  I sat there with him – just listening.

Jump ahead 20 years through my career in the Coast Guard.  My favorite thing to do underway was to be there to watch the sun come up.  No birds to listen to (save the occasional albatross).  When I was stationed aboard the CUTTER SASSAFRAS, part of my job was to be on the bridge navigating from 0400-0800 every day.  It was there I learned to appreciate the simple act of watching the sun come up at sea.  Every chance I got when I had to get underway again, I was up before dawn, cup of coffee in my hand on the fantail (back of the boat, or flat end for you Marines).

When I was first challenged with how much like my dad I had become, it was not a compliment.  However I have come to realize that they are right.  When you look at me, you are seeing my mom, but when you talk to me you are experiencing dad.  I am so grateful that God allowed dad and I to mend our fences – every one of them.  The old man changed a lot in his later life, and God did some amazing things in me at the same time. 

I am still very much my father’s son, and God is taking those rough edges and smoothing them out and making me more like Him in the process.  Dad died June 4, 2001 and is interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.  I think about him a lot – and I miss him.  Especially today.