This is my Father’s Day post from last year. Nothing to add to it, so here it is again.
I’d love to post a nice, happy Father’s Day Post, but I fear this won’t be it. But here it is in all its sadness. But, there is a wonderful positive here also that I hope you all will see, and a lesson to father’s everywhere.
My father had more positive qualities than could be possibly listed, in many ways. First of all, he was quite handsome, in a very classic way. He was truly the epitome of tall, dark and handsome. He was about 6’2″, olive skinned, slender, and very well built. He apparently was one quarter Native American coming from his mother’s side of things. Rumor was his mother was half Cherokee or Reelfoot. Nobody really knows, as his side of the family was rather shrouded in mystery and rumor. Lot’s of talk various and sundry crimes on the Fry side of the family.
He was quite charming and engaging as well, and could sell the proverbial snow cone to the proverbial Eskimo. In fact, sales was what my father did for his entire life, and was very successful at it.
My father was extremely gentle and kind. I am not sure I never heard him express anger at a person in my life(other than my mother), and made quite a big deal about always being nice to other people. He was a real “golden rule” kind of guy. He had been a Marine right after WWII but was very anti war. In fact, the only conflict we ever had was when I decided to join the Army. He really thought I had become some kind of jack booted Nazi. I remember still the one and only time my father ever spanked me, he cried the whole time.
My father was literally the smartest man I ever knew. He had no degrees or formal education outside of school, but was the smartest and most well read man I ever met. Read all the classic philosophers during his lifetime. He was also quite a gifted writer as I discovered after he died. The man was a literary giant in the making to tell the truth. Found out he fancied himself a real Earnest Hemingway type of person. My father was simply put, a genius.
Now, the dark side of my father.
My Father was a cheating, unfaithful womanizer. That handsomeness and charm, combined with his profession as a traveling salesman produced very bad results. He didn’t, however, have to travel to philander, he was perfectly capable of that locally.
My father went broke. He sold and serviced dry cleaning machinery. The rise of polyester literally ruined my life. In a matter of what seemed like months we went from great success to utter lack.
My father was an alcoholic. Apparently he had been for years, but the financial ruin brought it to the forefront in bad ways. In the midst of great financial setback my father chose to abandon us instead of staying. Things worked out okay for him for a while but for me and my mother the result was years of poverty and struggling. He never recovered from that addiction, and it ultimately took his life. We reconnected while I was in college, but that was only because everybody else had given up on him. The most vivid memories of our reconnection were mostly me driving somewhere where he had failed to pay rent and was drunk in a bed, picking him up, and dropping him off at the VA Hospital for another stint in recovery. We did, however, during that time come to know each other better than we ever had. That all finally ended with a deadly, perhaps intentional, combination of pills and booze, and he was gone at the age of 54.
Most importantly, my father was lost, He did not know The Lord, nor did he wish to. He was simply too smart, too independent, and too in love with his decadent lifestyle to ever surrender his life to Jesus. I really don’t even know if anyone ever told him to be honest. He certainly never mentioned God around me.
I miss him horribly, even to this day. He never did a thing for me, but one’s father is always their father. If only he had stayed around to see my conversion, perhaps things would be different for him now. Sadly, I won’t ever see him again.
As normal, there is a Bible lesson buried in this post; I usually have one. This is my father’s day gift to all the father’s out there, and it is this one simple statement from what I believe to be one of the greatest fathers who ever lived other than God our father. That man is Joshua. Every inch a man’s man, a great warrior, and a leader of men beyond compare. He had the following to say:
As for me and my house. we will serve the Lord