Throughout the day I’ve thought of Dad often. Of course I miss him, but I can’t help focus the overwhelming majority of my thoughts and emotions in a different direction. The theme of my thoughts today has been gratitude.

I was blessed to have Dad in my life. Each day, no matter what I may have done right or wrong, I knew he loved me and he was proud of me.

Whenever we talked we ended the conversation with a heartfelt “Love you dude” or “Love you Bud” spending on which way the wind was blowing.

When we got together the first thing we did was give each other a giant bear hug. When it was time for us to part the last thing we did was give each other a giant bear hug and exchange the our normal “love you’s.”

I knew Dad would always support me in whatever I did. He’d also be there to give me tough love when I needed it.

There is so much I’ve learned from Dad. Wood working, home improvement, hunting, living, business, leadership, and the list goes on and on and on.

Dad had a beautiful way of transitioning back and forth between being a dad AND being a best friend. He always seemed to know just when to lean on one more than the other when the situation called for it.

Dad knew how to bring a smile to anyone when they needed one. Friends and strangers were one in the same to him; the only difference was that he knew the name of friends and hadn’t yet met the stranger.

Long story short, today was filled with so many awesome memories fo my time with Dad. I’m so blessed to have had the 40+ years I did with him. I’m thankful for all of the memories we made, the things we did and made together, and all the experiences we shared.

All day long when the sadness of missing him started to kick in I focused on being thankful for having Dad in my life, thought back to those memories, felt my heart fill with joy, and I smiled.

Gratitude. What a beautiful gift from The Big Dude Upstairs. He gave us the cure to our pain and our heartache in a way we have 100% control over. We may not have control over what happens to us or our loved ones, but He gave us the ability to choose gratitude to help us smile joyfully through any storm we may face.

Thanks!!!

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