Another Father’s Day is upon us. And while I don’t have kids of my own, I do have a father I love and appreciate beyond measure.
But how do I honor the man who did so many things and gave up so much of his time for me?
As a young adult, my dad worked long hours to support his new family. Yet he made time to toss a football around, let me steer the car on empty back roads, and teach me how to play chess.
When I fell in love with basketball, my dad surprised me with a new red, white, and blue ABA ball. When I began lifting weights, he found me a bench. And when I turned 16 and started working, he bought me a car — then allowed me to pay him back!
My dad let me help him refinish our basement, where I learned how to frame walls, run wiring, hang drywall, and texture and paint.
My dad taught me to live by the Golden Rule and show others courtesy, consideration, and respect. He also instilled timeless work ethics such as being on time, making good on promises, and giving 40 hours of work for 40 hours of pay.
And whenever I’d find myself in a jam, my dad always came to the rescue, even if that meant driving across town to pick me up, drop me off, or buy or bring me something.
My dad passed along his love of cars and always allowed me to work by his side. In his garage I learned how to do everything from welding and body work to replacing clutches and rebuilding engines.
My dad taught me how to drive properly, to always know what’s going on around me and to always anticipate the irrational moves of other drivers.
Through his connections, my dad got me my first real job — a full-time position repairing computers just as the field of information technology was beginning to explode.
As a successful business owner for almost 40 years, my dad showed (and continues to show) me the value of operating with integrity, treating customers right, and maintaining professional relationships.
And when my mom died in December of 2012, my dad was there to help me through my profound sadness, grief, and loss — even while he was profoundly saddened, grief-stricken, and suffering from loss.
I could go on and on and on.
“A father makes all the difference,” says Roy Hobbs in the 1984 film The Natural. And it’s true. My father, Ron Baxendale, Sr., has made all the difference to me by having exerted a remarkably positive influence on my life. Perhaps the best and only way to truly honor him, then, is to use this special day to acknowledge this powerful influence.
Thank you for everything, Dad. You’ve played a major part in making me the person I am, and I wouldn’t have made it this far without you. Happy Father’s Day!