One memory I have as a first grader, is the belt that he wore when off duty. It had a huge, shiny belt buckle that said PIG on it. Now, at the time, I was too young to know that this defamatory word was slang for "cop" (a name he detested; he preferred police officer). On the buckle was written:
This pretty much sums up my father and he used my formative years to not only teach me what these words meant, but to model them as well. He always told me "Actions speak louder than words" and "Don't tell me, show me". He had no patience for lip service or half-hearted attempts to do the right thing. When I struggled as a teenager, I remember him taking a piece of paper and writing GUTS on it. He slid the paper across the table to me, and told me that this is all I needed to make good choices. Have the guts to do the right thing, no matter what others are doing or saying. Have the guts to maintain your character and integrity; strive to live a life of purpose that glorifies God. Take pride in yourself, your work, your family, your house, your life. For many, many years, I kept this piece of faded and crinkled paper in my wallet as a reminder of that conversation.
There's so much that I am thankful for on this Father's Day. The impact my father made on me is tremendous. He is one of the most self-less, loyal, intelligent, and loving people I know. I am blessed, so blessed, to have a close relationship with him. We're a lot alike in that we struggle to maintain our patience, have a bit of a stubborn streak, have difficulty keeping our opinions to ourselves (although we have both improved in this area!), and tend to view the world as simply black or white/ right or wrong. I'm so grateful that my three boys are influenced and loved by this man of God. And, for my husband, who lost his own father four years ago, my father has graciously stepped in as a father figure for him.
|Dad visiting my first grade son's classroom in April|
I think that what the world needs is more PIGs.