Posted by: Rex Boyles | June 14, 2008

my father’s day

The first memory I have of my father …

I do not know how old I was, but I remember these things. It was night – dark – cold. My father was rocking me. It was late – a cold winter night. I can still see the open flame heater we had – the flame was blue and orange. My heart was aching – I remember. My pet, a little fox terrier “Foxy” was missing. (In truth – he was dead, but I didn’t know that then. Even came to believe that he had run off to join the circus.)

I had never felt anything like this heartache. I had cried beore – when I was hurt or when my brothers got into trouble. 🙂 But nothing like this. There was a pain in my chest … hard to breathe … didn’t know that it would ever get better.

But I remember my father holding me … rocking me. He was wearing a white t-shirt. My face was pressed up against it on his chest. His heartbeat … his breathing … his warmth comforted me. I do not remember anything he said, but I know him well enough to know that he was telling me – firmly and surely – “It will be okay, boy”.

I do not remember how long he rocked me … but I woke up in my bed the next morning feeling – knowing that it was going to be okay.

Such has been my life …

No matter the heartache …

when I struck out almost every time at bat …

when I threw 5 interceptions in the same game (all returned for touchdowns) … 

when I hurt my brother (he had to have stitches) …

when I wrecked my car …

when I lost my best friend …

when I betrayed my vows …

when I ruined my life …  

… my father has found a way to make me believe that it is going to be okay.

There is no man alive that has more courage – to face difficulty … more determination – to get the job done … more humor – to make people feel at ease … more wisdom – to fix whatever seems to be broken … more love – to care for his wife, children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren … than my father.

I love you, Big Bill.

p.s. His mother called him, “Billy” … his friends call him, “Bill” … but the moment he became a grandfather, we all called him, “Big Bill” … not because of size of his body – but surely because of the size of his heart.

p.p.s. Tell me something you remember about your father.


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