FORT WORTH, TX – Grief can be a terrible demon with which to wrestle. As men we are particularly susceptible as to how to handle it. People will always come and go in our lives and someday even we will pass from theirs. How will the people that walked through our lives perceive us? How will the ones that stayed with us through thick and thin feel if it was worth it all? I probably will leave more questions unanswered as we all handle grief in different ways.
Through my life experiences I can’t with honesty say that I wished someone dead. I knew they were evil and vial but even without my wishes and prayers they left this earth in less than a glorious manner.
Maybe it is a co-worker or supervisor that was always down on you no matter how hard you worked and or what you did for the community in which you worked. I had a few of those. One blew his brains out after he retired from the force and another died two months after he retired as Chief. Both were not loved by all and even those that claimed them as friends more than once he tried to stab them in the back.
For those, I know I shouldn’t say it, but I hope they are tormented in Hell for an eternity. They were not deserving of the grace of God that they so profoundly held to.
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But what I really want to dig into is our families. How affected were you by their passing? Was it a simple matter of throwing the dirt over their casket or did you grieve every time you thought about them?
Yesterday, being father’s day, led me to dwell on this point. Was he a loving father always there for you or was he a ghost and you lived with several siblings all with different fathers? Was he a father that beat you and your mother or was he the father that made all your dreams come true even if he sacrificed everything to make that happen?
I don’t know what I would have done if my pops wasn’t around or he was abusive. But knowing my nature and mentality, if he were abusive I am sure I would have dropped him dead. Fortunately, I didn’t have to make a choice.
My dad worked in a factory and as far as I know never took a sick day. He didn’t drink except for that occasional beer, and always made sure we as a family came first. We always had a vacation and he spent every last cent he had saved up so my sister and I could have a good time. I remember him crunching up graham crackers and pouring what little milk was left over to have as his breakfast.
We spent most summers at Sunset Bay, and we swam in Lake Erie every day of that week. Other times we went to Georgian Bay in Canada with friends from church. We water skied, swam and fished. We ate what we caught and used an outhouse to poop. It was everyday life.
At sixteen, I had saved enough money and I bought a boat which we used to water ski. Man, were those the times. My pops gave me a sense of adventure that I still cling onto this day. He was the first one to take me hunting.
I’ve traveled to most Caribbean Islands, Belize, Honduras, Costa Rica and Ecuador. I have dove to depths that most men would not venture and entered waters with thousands of sharks.
I’ve been in knockdown drag out brawls and shoot outs and made it out alive. Dad was proud of me and he lived vicariously though me with those adventures. I knew he worried as he didn’t want his only son – the one he was so proud of – to not walk the earth another day.
Yeah, I cry for my pops because I loved him. I cry for my pops because he showed me how to be a man. I cry for my pops because he showed me what hard work resulted in. And I cry for my pops because he was my pops!
Peace to you Dad. I loved you with all my heart. Peace out!