Garner Cleveland Record

Column: If your father means the world to you, do something for him

It was Nov. 27, 2001 and I had just turned 11. It was the day my life changed for many reasons.

I was in 5th grade and I remember my mom planned to bring me a Subway sandwich for lunch at school. Having your parent bring you food and not having to eat the cafeteria food was the cool thing back then.

But the day didn’t go as planned.

That day around lunch time I had my first big seizure. I can’t remember much except what my classmates had told me. The only thing I remember was sitting in class and then blacking out.

I woke up on a gurney coming out of the ambulance and seeing my father with a concerned look on his face. He had been at work.

It was the first time I had ever seen worry in his eyes. After all, he was the strongest person I knew.

I’m sure it was scary to see your son on a gurney being pushed to the ER.

But I’ll never forget the doors of the ambulance opening up – his arms helping to open the door when he probably wasn’t supposed to – and seeing him. Seeing his eyes. And that was almost 13 years ago. If I never knew, I knew then he cared about me.

Sunday is Father’s Day. It’s a day to thank your fathers for all that they have done for you. My dad was there every step of the way. He’s still there.

He taught me how to throw a baseball. He taught me how to manage my finances. He taught me a little about the ladies. He encouraged me to learn and not memorize.

I remember cramming for vocabulary tests as a child on the way to school and my dad telling me “you need to stop trying to memorize these words and learn what they mean.”

I realize I should show my appreciation more.

I think some of us who grew up and had relationships with both parents don’t put as much effort into Father’s Day as we do Mother’s Day.

In my 24 years of life, I have never not been with my mother on Mother’s Day.

But I’ll admit I don’t always know each year what day Father’s Day is on. And I may have missed seeing my father on Father’s Day last year. He only lives two hours away.

That’s nothing against my father. I love the man, but I’ve come to the realization that I haven’t been doing what I’m supposed to be doing.

I don’t know what it is. I talked it over with a coworker and asked her why she thought more people tend to put more effort into Mother’s Day than they do Father’s Day.

She brought up a good point. She said fathers tend not to be as sensitive as mothers. Or so we think.

We think that if we miss seeing or making an effort to express to our fathers our appreciation for them on Father’s Day, then they won’t take it as hard as our mothers would.

But we shouldn’t think that way. If your father has made an effort to be in your life and has taken care of you, then you ought to make the effort to do the same for your father as you would for anyone else you show appreciation to.

Those of us who have fathers – or any man who has taken on that role – in our lives should know, fathers serve as the foundation. They are the protectors. They are disciplinarians. They are teachers. They are caregivers. They are guiders.

And we should thank them for that. I considered not going down to my hometown in Charlotte Sunday because I had traveled and spent money last week to hang out with some friends at a wedding.

But what was more important?

Spending time with your father Sunday, or having fun last week?

I snapped out of it, and I’ll be in Charlotte Sunday hanging with my old man because he’s done so much for me and he was there when I needed him.

So if your dad has been there for you, consider doing the same. Send him a thank you card, call him or go see him.

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