Saturday, June 17, 2006

Happy Father's Day

Tomorrow is Father's Day. I'm looking forward to it. I decided not to turn on the computer tomorrow though. I want to focus my attention on my family. Therefore, I thought I'd do my Father's Day post today. This is sort of a "best of" post for me. I wanted to call attention to my very first post on this blog back in December of last year as well as my favorite post which is a sequel to the first one. I hope you enjoy them. Here they are:

Father's, part 1

Father's, part 2

In addition to reviewing those posts I thought I could share some photos of the men I think about when Father's Day rolls around.

This first photo is of my dad, Mark. He's the first person I ever remember calling "dad" and I'm really lucky he married my mom. They got married when I was seven years old. I'm fortunate to have received such a good step-dad because he provided me with structure and he loved me enough to give me discipline and guidelines. This photo shows my dad on a boat and this brings back good memories of all the times he took me to Lake Mead. I had a really fun childhood because of my dad.

The photo below is of my birth father, Grant. I love this photo because it was taken at the house that my grandfather left to my father. This house was located in Chino, California and on the weekends that my father had custody of me, we would stop at this old junky house and do work. At the time it was hard work and not what I would have considered fun, but now, looking back on it, I think we spent more time together there than anywhere and I miss that. I appreciate my dad for many reasons. For one, he instilled a love of learning and education into me. He also fostered my love of music. What a fun dad.

Here is a photograph of a man who is one of the most incredible blessings in my life. This is Stephen Christie and I also consider him my step-dad. He is my father-in-Christ. Get this, Stephen is my birth-father's second ex-wife's husband. In other words, there is no blood relation here, but God has used Stephen as an example of a godly man in my life. This is a photo of my oldest son, Max with "Grandpa Stephen" while they were working on our home that we now live in. Stephen and his wife Cory bought this house so that we could live in it. Stephen is a man of intelligence, character, and generosity. I'm still in awe of why I am loved so much by this great guy.

My father-in-law, James is in the picture that follows. I cannot express how blessed I feel to have Chrisy's dad as my father-in-law. He is a man of quiet wisdom. One thing I appreciate about James is that I have never felt judged by him; on the contrary, there has been total acceptance. From the first sit-down I ever had with this man, when I asked to marry his daughter, he told me that he would not butt into our lives, but would always be there for advice if needed. He has been true to his word. But, more than all that, he is the ultimate grandfather. That is why I choose a photo of him with my children. This was taken outside his home in Arizona. It's very fitting that his eyes are on my youngest daughter because he has been very attentive to all his grandchildren from day one. I could not have asked for a better grandpa for my children.

My uncle, John Lynd, is in this last photo. It is so appropriate that it is the only one that I'm in and that John's arm is around me. In so many ways John feels more like a father to me than anybody. He is my theatrical dad and I love that this was taken outside the theater in which he acted in Man of La Mancha. I appreciate that John filled me with so many good values as a young man. He taught me never to litter; instead, I should leave the world a more beautiful place than when I found it. He taught me to respect all living things and that it's only the inside of a human that counts. He taught me that when someone harms us in life we have two choices. First, we can close-off, build walls, and get hardened. That is the easy way he would say. The second he knew involved much more pain. It is to choose to love anyway and to remain open and vulnerable. He taught me to always choose the latter. He taught me that cynicism was too great a cost to pay when there were poems to write, songs to sing, battles to be fought, and princesses to free. He told me to follow my dreams, even impossible ones.

As I look at all these photos I realize that I am a truly blessed man. Each of these fathers brought me something unique that truly helped shape who I am today. I am grateful to each and every one of them. Happy fathers day to Mark, Grant, Stephen, James, and Uncle John.

Now, since I am a father in my own right, I will spend the day with the computer off, loving my children in a manner that was learned because of the conglomeration you all gave to me.


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