My dad was born in 1926. He was named George after his father. He is the eldest of three sons. Dad served in the Navy during WWII. He married Dot in 1947 – and they celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in April. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. He has three sons, one daughter, four grandsons, three granddaughters, two great-grandsons, two great-granddaughters and one more great-grandchild on the way. He has retired from at least 2 jobs and finally stopped working a couple of years ago. He is now 84 and looking for something to do. He need not look far.
You see, Dad fixes things. And he has always been a fixer. Since I can remember Dad has been the go-to guy for broken toys, broken appliances, broken cars, and all other manner of brokenness. When he can’t fix something himself, he usually knows someone that can – cheap and fast! He has worked on all of my homes and he never backs down from trying to fix (or improve) something. So why call a professional when Dad is THE MAN?
Dad has also been known to fix his share of broken hearts and broken promises, too. I’ve never taken a problem to Dad that he didn’t try with all his might to solve. Sometimes just listening was all I needed (And I guess he knew that, too).
Dad is not always patient. Dad can be very stubborn. And Dad has become obsessively frugal in his golden years. But Dad never says no when asked for help. I wonder if he has ever added up all the hours and years of service that he has given to each of us. I doubt that he would be concerned about it but it would be fascinating to know just how much time has spent fixing our stuff.
You know, my dad has never met a stranger. He makes friends everywhere he goes. As a kid I used to be embarrassed by his knack (or annoying habit) of striking up conversations with anyone he encountered. He’s the kind of guy that could ask an amputee how they lost their limb and somehow not be offensive. He’s talked his way into places, jobs, relationships and talked his way out of jambs and traffic tickets (and probably some jobs as well). And most people like to talk to him, too. I’m afraid that I’ve inherited his lack of patience, because sometimes I wish he didn’t talk to EVERYONE. But Dad would fix stuff for a stranger (new friend), too. So maybe he needs to talk to everyone!
Besides fixing stuff, the greatest thing that my dad has done for me is being an example of a loving and devoted husband. Dad worships Mom and he has spent the last 63 years fixing things for her, too. In truth, Mom takes care of Dad more than the other way around but Dad is still her hero and her protector. And their love story is one for the ages.
So on Father’s Day this year I think I’ll ask Dad to fix something for me. Maybe something that doesn’t even need fixing. But then again he might be able to fix some brokenness in me…
In word and deed honor your father that his blessing may come upon you; For a father’s blessing gives a family firm roots. Sirach 3:8-9