Sunday, June 19, 2011

Life's Rich Pageant

Happy Father's Day to all the Dads out there. If you're a Dad and you love the E Street Band, make sure you play some for your kids today. RIP Big Man.

This is the first Father's Day without my dad. I know it's trite to say things are bittersweet, but man, that word just works, why resist using it. Today is a bittersweet day. I love celebrating Father's Day with my girls, but it's hard not to miss my dad. Sorry for being so personal, but the blog is that kind of outlet for me. I want to share a story about my dad, a story that I shared at his memorial service in January.

My dad wasn't a big talker, but he taught me a lot of things through example. One of the best lessons my dad ever taught me was on the golf course, and I think it's a perfect example of what a great Father he was.

My dad was in a league one year, I think I was 11 or 12. One of his teammates couldn't make it, so my dad asked me if I wanted to fill in. I wasn't sure at first, but my dad assured me my game was up to it. My dad knew my game well, so I agreed. I even started to think I might actually be an upgrade for his team.

Golf is a uniquely humbling endeavor, and to say I didn't play well that day would be an understatement. It was bad from the get-go, one terrible shot after another. It was like I'd never picked up a club in my life. With each shot I became more and more frustrated. I was really holding things up, and I kept expecting my dad to tell me to pick up my ball, put me out of my misery. Instead he encouraged me through every shot. There was no talk of quitting, only of moving forward and doing my best on each and every shot. When it was finally over I'd shot a 99 - for nine holes. I felt like I'd let my dad down, but he told me everybody has bad days, you have to leave this one behind and do better the next time. It's one small moment, one shared over hot dogs in the clubhouse, but that lesson stuck with me, and not just on the golf course.

There were a lot of little moments like this with my dad: sitting in boats waiting for fish to bite, standing around tee boxes and greens, during commercials while we watched football. You had to be on your toes with my dad, you never knew when he might slip in some wisdom. You put all these little moments together and my dad taught me how to be a man. His memory will help me be the best man I can be.

I miss you Dad. Happy Father's Day.


  1. Great tribute, Tim.

    Happy Father's Day.

  2. Happy Father's Day!
    Love your story. I think bittersweet is a wonderful word!

  3. Great memory. I remember my first Fathers' Day without my Dad. Suddenly I noticed how many men are without their dads. After 8 years, I still notice but it does get easier.

  4. Squilla's AuntJune 19, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Happy Fathers Day, Tim....and Happy Birthday too! Thinking of you and your dad today.

  5. that was an excellent tribute. happy father's day to you too!

  6. Don't apologize for being personal. What a great window into your life with your dad.

  7. Tim- A beautiful tribute to your dad. It's never easy when they leave us, but you'll always have him in spirit, whispering words of wisdom.
    Happy Father's Day. :)

  8. Random...

    Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.
    --William Yeats

  9. "You put all these little moments together and my dad taught me how to be a man. His memory will help me be the best man I can be."

    Great story, Tim.

    "make sure you play some for your kids today. RIP Big Man."

    And some great advice as well.

    "you never knew when he might slip in some wisdom."

    I think you just continued the tradition.

  10. This is such a touching tribute. I'm very sorry for your loss. I can imagine this year was very hard, but I hope you enjoyed the day with your girls.

    And I agree, RIP to Clarence Clemons, such a shame.

  11. Great memories, lessons, and affirmations. What I love about the golf story is that he kept encouraging and never let you feel like you didn't deserve to be there.
    Happy Dad's Day to you.