While driving through the mountains of northern Georgia and western North Carolina recently, I was reminded of similar trips when I was a child. In my earliest memories of these trips, I was a young child living in South (read “flat”) GA. So riding through these mountains was quite the experience, especially since this was before the mandatory seatbelt laws…back when kids could be seen riding in the rear window dash…but I digress.
I think my dad really enjoyed maneuvering those hair-pin curves while he explained why we downshifted going both up and down the mountain, and how to properly take a curve. I may have been about 5 or 6. It would be years before I would get the opportunity to try those tricks myself. I remember my brother, Jon, who is 2 years younger than I, hating this part of our drive. He would cry and/or turn green because he was afraid of the deep ravines he saw right outside his window. It seemed, even at that age, he was keenly aware of the potential danger of crashing and falling, and he feared it immensely. Either that, or he quickly figured out that crying about it got him moved to the middle of the front seat, being pampered by our mother.
I, on the other hand, loved looking into the deep gullies by which we were passing. I don’t remember having any fear. The very idea of being scared seemed ridiculous to me. Why? Because my Daddy was driving! I had complete trust in him. There was no doubt in my mind that Daddy knew what he was doing, where we were going, and how we would get there. I was in no danger because my Daddy loved us and he was our protector. He wouldn’t do anything that put us in danger. He was, and still is, a very good Daddy.
Ah…the innocence of childhood! I soon turned into one of those teenage creatures and started looking at my dad through different, rebellious eyes. I probably thought he was too strict. Once I got old enough to be behind the wheel myself, I think I didn’t need his instruction or rules…because I could drive myself, thank you very much. Ha! I just thank the good Lord above I didn’t drive off a deadly cliff. But I’ve had more than a few of life’s “fender benders.” My dad, however, never stopped loving me or trying to steer me along the safe path. I am thankful for all the prayers he has prayed for me and our family over the years.
My dad has taught me so much during my life, such as:
- the proper way to load the dishwasher
- the right way to clean the kitchen
- how to give a dog pills
- how to properly bathe the dog
- how to hang clothes neatly
- to put my dirty clothes in the hamper (not that I do that now)
- If you’re going to do a job, you might as well do it right (which was however he was teaching us to do it.)
Dad was/is a teacher. He would demonstrate how to do things as he was
lecturing telling us how to do it. And his way was the right way, just in case we thought differently. It used to drive me nuts! It was no surprise to us when he became a preacher later in life. Now, I realize he ended up teaching me the value of a good work ethic. You can’t go wrong with a good work ethic. But Dad also taught me even more important things. Dad taught me:
- that real men cry when they are proud of their kids (and when the underdog wins the golf tournament)
- that God is REAL and LOVES ME
- that Jesus should be the Savior AND LORD of my life
- how to pray
- how to sing 🙂
- how to share my faith with others
- the importance of studying my Bible daily
Dad taught me everything he could by modeling it in his own life. He leads from a heart of devotion to God. Like I said, he is a very good Daddy.
I have been told my whole life I look just like my dad, that I “take after” him in looks and personality. When I was a stubborn teen, that bugged me. As a 6’1″ tall female with feet too big for cute shoes and hands large enough to palm a basketball, I didn’t want to take after my large Dad. I wanted to be small and feminine and beautiful like my mom. I’ve matured a bit since then. I realize what a gift I have in the wonderful parents God has given me. It would be a blessing to take after either one of them.
I am so glad God gave me an earthly Father who loves and serves our heavenly Father. The older I get, and the more people I come to know, the more I realize what a unique and marvelous blessing that is. Thank You, Lord God!
Thank you, Glenn Parrish, for being such a wonderful, God-fearing man and Father. Thank you for doing your best to raise me and love me no matter what.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you!