Saturday, June 20, 2009

Father's Day Tribute to Daddy Jay

My father went to heaven this year and so this Father's Day I don't have a card or present to send him. Here is my tribute...
My Dad was a big man in lots of ways. He was tall. A full 6 foot 3 and he'd point that out to you if you didn't note it.
He had a personality that permeated the room. When he walked in the room the energy expanded.
He was brave. He had learning disabilities but concocted a way to work around them and build a good life for his family. I didn't realize until the last ten years of his life that he could barely read and write. That explained why he never sang the hymns and avoided Sunday School.
He was always one step ahead of the demons from his poor childhood and wore a great sense of humor as his victory trophy.
My Dad was cool. Wherever he was there were a string of successful, polished men just trailing behind him waiting for him to decide what they were going to do next. He was always "The Decider." I'm sure The Fonz was modeled after him.
The kids in our neighborhood called him "Judge" because he loved nothing better than to sit in his lawn chair after dinner and call the winners of all the games they played in the street. Kick the can, hide and seek etc.
My Dad feared God. He knew he wasn't perfect and always worried that he had overstepped his limits. The Proverbs say "Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom." He understood where to be afraid. Dad was wise.
My Dad could not bear to see someone poor and scared. He brought home people down on their luck and sent them on their way in better shape. Fed, new shoes, some money.
Once he called me and asked me to guess how many dress shirts he owned.
I told him that I thought the only thing funnier than him owning that many shirts was that he counted them. Dad was a peacock. Clothes represented "making it" to him. He made it big time.
Dad knew how to make fun out of anything. His riding lawnmower pulled wagons full of kids all over the neighborhood. Long Sunday drives culminated in impromptu picnics on the car hood. He would bring home a convertible and cram tons of kids into it (before seat belts) and treat the whole zip code to ice cream cones.
It is hard to believe that he is not still a call away. He was a shield and we all feel a little less protected without him here.
He left us with wonderful examples and great values to follow. We can't claim ignorance on the things that truly matter.
It's grow up time.
The Bible says that "To him (or her) whom much has been given -- much is required." As his daughter I realize "It's Showtime."
I'm so grateful for my Dad.


  1. It's easy to see from whom you got your "zip and zing". A precious tribute...... Your Dad sounds like lots of fun!

  2. I was actually thinking of you and Daddy Jay this morning. It's no small thing to have a great dad, and a huge thing to be without them. What a wonderful and honest tribute to your sweet daddy.