I wrote this several years ago, when I lived at home. Not sure why I didn’t post it then. As it’s for today, It seemed appropriate. Happy Father’s Day, Dad, and thanks for everything you’ve done and continue to do for me.
“Are the steaks done through?”
It was an inevitable question, from a man doing what a man does, the manly art of barbecuing. Even as my fork would dive into the aforementioned meat, and my knife began to cut, so came the father’s inquiry, constant like the ticking of the clock and said steak tasting very, very good, even if it was a little pink in the middle (medium well, by the way. THAT’s how I roll)
It’s only over the last little while, as my father began to teach me of the art, that I understood why. How important it was that it be done right, that THIS be done right. That we do everything we do as good as we can.
Maybe I should have seen it before- in him, or in me. The attention to detail, at least, the need for it to be perfect. That’s something I got from him. The continued passing on of his values- fairness, integrity, chivalry, compassion, toughness, honesty, confidence, among so many others- that was something I should have always seen. Something that demanded he ask the question.
I’m not an alpha male in the strictest sense, but we had our moments of bonding, Dad and I, as few or as many as either of us might place. Maybe it was throwing baseballs in the backyard when we were younger. Watching sports on television, car rides or other talks when he would always find the moral or value of the story, or standing out on the deck as he taught me how to light a barbecue, even now in the adult age.
I don’t remember all of them, looking back, the images and memories refracted through the long lens of time. But I know they happened.
Because more and more, I see myself trying to be him. The attention to detail, the need to be as good as we can make it, to do the job the justice it deserves, the integrity and honesty that I’ve always tried to conduct myself with, and the value of being a good friend… and a good man. I’m not there yet, but Lord knows I’m trying.
Barbecuing the steaks yesterday, I can’t remember if I asked the question.
But because of him- because of what he taught me, the desire to be the best I can be- I know I was thinking it.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad.