A few months before Dad passed away he and I were talking about Dominic’s transition into Boy Scouts. Through the course of the conversation I brought up the Boy Scout pocket knife that my grandpa gave me once I had moved into Boy Scouts. As we talked he mentioned that he needed to do the same for Dominic. I’ve had my knife for many years (25+?) and I think of my grandpa every single time I use it and Dad knew that (I blogged about it a while back). His wish was to give Dominic a similar knife so he’d do the same.
As with many things in our lives it never quite happened the way Dad planned. Whether it was other things that had taken priority or it had just slipped his mind, it doesn’t really matter now does it? Don’t mind me while I ramble for a second as something just crossed my mind. There are many times in which I spend way too much time and energy thinking about questions like that… was it because of this or because of that? Once something happens it doesn’t really matter anymore, does it? It’s already done. How much of life have I wasted on meaningless questions like that? How much energy could’ve been used elsewhere? It doesn’t really matter though, does it? It is done and learning from it is all that matters right now. LOL – thanks for bearing with me on that one!
Anyways, I knew it was what Dad wanted, to give Dominic that Boy Scout knife, so while he couldn’t do it himself anymore I did the next best thing. I got it for Dominic and explained that it was really from Grandpa Pete. He smiled from ear to ear while showing the emotion that he truly grasped the gravity of what I was telling him.
When Gavin gets older I’ll do the same for him, just as Dad would’ve wanted. As they get older and have kids of their own I’ll do the same for them, just as I want. If I’ve done my job as a father, one day they’ll do the same for their grandkids, because they want to keep the family tradition alive.
Dad may be gone, but there are memories of him everywhere. I’m thankful for each of them and the way that they help me look more deeply at myself. This family tradition encapsulates this concept so well. It involves giving, an activity that is near all of our hearts (scouting), we use it often, and it has one of Dad’s favorite mental tricks included… Whenever you pick up a tool take a minute to think about who gave it to you, why they gave it to you, where it came from, and how you got it. Think of those things, smile, and be grateful for them.