Monday, March 1, 2010

Met my Dad through a friend...

While sitting and reading my backlog of emails, I experienced a sort of epiphany. No, it wasn't of the spiritual type, more like something that makes you say, "ah-ha".

Can't really explain why the subject entered into my mind and thought process, but it did and I figured I would capture it on paper before I got busy and lost it among the sloughed off brain cells lying scattered all around the floor of my cranium.

Just one of those times when you remember something without trying or being prompted to fire up a search engine to search the stored memory sticks of your past.

Strange to say the least.

But there I was and suddenly I realized that there was a person, a co-worker actually from in my immediate circle of friends that reminded me of my dad. This particular friend I can claim as a GFFN...(good friend for now) until he probably sees this and realizes that he reminds me of my dad...but he honestly has a lot of the personality traits that parallel my father's.

Having not 'known' my dad as a friend, simply because I was always busy doing kid's stuff and staying out of sight, out of mind, and he was doing what dads do. Providing clothing, shelter, food, guidance, and a pretty fair meat cutter when it came time to cut up what ever it was that was on my plate that needed to be a smaller bite size for me.

My father was a kind and generous man almost to a fault. One of the strongest Christian men I was blessed to have watching over me. He taught the knuckle headed teenagers at our little Baptist church in the south end of Beaumont for years. Emmanuel Baptist Church on Terrell Street, just off of South 6Th Street, if memory serves me correct.

It was here at EBC that I made my decision when I was about 8 years old, to accept Christ as my Savior and began the journey as a child of God and the ever watchful eye of my dad.

Dad worked several different jobs to keep all the things a family needed coming in. A few of the jobs I remember him working as were a butcher, cookie route salesman, gas station owner, newspaper delivery (entire area in and around Woodville, Texas), not to mention with him being the oldest of his siblings, he began driving a truck for his dad, the Old Man Himself at Roy's Trucking Company in Alvin, Texas.

One of my older brothers went as far as to define Dad as meek. Not timid, just a non-confrontational individual that took care of his business the best way he knew how. With the skills that God had given him to handle the challenges of life that he faced, day in and day out.

Dad was loyal, compassionate, and a friend to all. Unless you messed up and crossed him at some time or another, then he would maneuver around you, avoiding having to deal with you and your spiteful ways.

These are some of the same traits that my friend at work has as well. He is loyal, one of the most compassionate men I have ever met, and a good friend to all. He often ends up being the butt of a joke, only to have a good laugh at himself, along with all the others that may have been in on it from the beginning. He has had his share of knocks and punches that life throws at us, with more landing solidly, like on an opponent of the great Sugar Ray Leonard, the boxer. Any yet, he maintains an even keel so to speak and his ship is usually upright.

Reckon it's true about nice guys finishing last, but isn't 'finishing', a big part of the race of life as we know it? Having to make decisions with nothing but the current information in front of you and with your personal gut feelings you have grown to trust.

Isn't remembering the fact that an individual was in the race at all, something to revel in and celebrate when you recall the adventure? Now don't go thinking the race is over. It is far from being over. This leg of the relay race is currently rounding turn number 3 and heading towards the finish line. There are lots more races to be run, and my GFFN will be in the race of his choice, shoulder to shoulder with his buddies, awaiting the sound of the starter's pistol.

I suppose what I am trying to get across here is this.

I just realized that this good friend of mine portrays the same traits and personality of my dad. A side of my dad that I never got to know while growing up or at least took time to notice and recognized as a friend.

Dad's can be friends too, right?

In fact, if my dad was anything like my friend is, and you have opted not to claim him as a friend, you're totally missing out. And to think that God allowed me to have a chance at recognizing both of their friendly characters.

Personally, I thank God for friends like him every day and the blessings they bring into my stumbles on and along life's speed bumps and S-turns.

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