Ordinary Men

Posted on June 15, 2022 by Lisa Thomas under Uncategorized
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Today, as in Wednesday, I was scrolling through my “Daddy’s Day” Pinterest board, looking for inspiration.  Not that Father’s Day doesn’t inspire me, but that inspiration runs in so many different directions.  Like trying to travel a path that divides again and again, when you decide to write about something, you kinda need to pick a path and then commit to it.  None of this wandering aimlessly off into the wild.  You can get lost that way.  And so can the point you’re trying to make.  Which is probably what I just did.

So as I scrolled through Father’s Day quotes and observations, through all the pictures and memes I’ve saved for possible future use, I came across the one you see here.  And my nose turned red . . . and my face flushed . . . and my eyes got just the slightest bit teary.  Why?  Because it’s true, but often we don’t appreciate or remember “that” dad.  When we’re young and innocent and the world is a giant playground that dad is our hero—the dad who can do anything, fix anything, make anything, be anything . . . and no one else’s dad can do or fix or make or be anything any better than ours.  They serve as our guides through childhood adventures and any mazes Life manufacturers . . . and they most assuredly can tell the best stories and sing the best songs, no matter how off-key the latter might be.

But if we aren’t very careful, we can lose that dad as we age, not because he leaves us but because we allow ourselves to outgrow him.  Instead of heroes perhaps we view them as anchors that keep us tethered too close to the shore when there’s a whole ocean to explore.  We don’t really want adventures, at least not with them.  And the stories and songs of our childhood become just that, relics of a time long-since passed that we mistakenly believe we’ve outgrown.

But if we’re lucky—and wise—we’re allowed to return to those days, but only when we’ve aged enough to understand how very blessed we were to have someone in our lives who loved us enough to stick around until we came to our senses . . . which is what usually happens when we have kids of our own.

All of which reminds me of a beautiful commercial filmed in Lithuania in 2018 for Bouygues Telecom.  It opens at Christmas with a very young father popping a cassette tape into a player and then dancing to the befuddlement of his toddler who watches him with the most confused expression—that gradually becomes the sweetest smile.  As “Come and Get Your Love” by Redbone plays in the background, that son ages—as does his father—from a young child to a teenager to a 20 something.  And all the while, his father dances . . . to his son’s delight . . . to his son’s tolerance . . . to his son’s embarrassment.  The commercial ends with the father and mother sitting at home, snow blanketing the ground, a Christmas tree in the corner. As they read in the silence a package under the tree begins to buzz.  The buzz of a cell phone demanding attention.  The dad rises from his chair, retrieves the package, and with a puzzled look opens it.  It’s his son on a video call.  Perhaps across the city.  Perhaps a world away. It really doesn’t matter because then the old familiar music begins to play.  And his son begins to dance, holding his own child in his arms . . . and as the commercial fades, three generations are continuing a tradition that will bind them together—parent to child—until the end of time.

Ordinary men who magically become heroes and adventurers.  Story-tellers and singers of song.  How beautiful and wonderful is the heart of a loving father, and how blessed we are when we have one.



About the author:  Lisa Shackelford Thomas is a fourth generation member of a family that’s been in funeral service since 1926.  She has been employed at Shackelford Funeral Directors in Savannah, Tennessee for over 40 years and currently serves as the manager there.  Any opinions expressed here are hers and hers alone, and may or may not reflect the opinions of other Shackelford family members or staff.

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