Although a week late, here is a delightful Father’s Day tribute written by my late dad. Enjoy!
A fellow that I know recently went home to West Texas and he can’t get over what his children did for him for Father’s Day, although it was Memorial Day.
It began with a surprise invitation.
His children, mostly grown, greeted him with guileful smiles and disclosed what was in store. Even son No. 1 was there. He had made an easy 11 hour and 40 minute drive from Houston, pulling a 17 foot Chris craft boat equipped with 120 HP motor.
“Dad, guess what?” said daughter No. 1. “We’re going on a big outing and it’s all in your honor.” The man gulped as the boys playfully cuffed him around, bloodying his nose.
“It’s true, Dad, anything you want to do, we’ll do. Make it a huge Memorial Day/Father’s Day combination, since you’re not going to be here for Father’s Day,” chimed in daughter No. 2.
The young folks used this time to formulate plans, as the man looked around for an escape route that he knew was not there.
It was decided that Dad would get the biggest kick out of going to Lake McClellan, a small buffalo wallow of a lake that becomes a kinghell mess on any given holiday. And this holiday would be worse than any.
“No use protesting, Dad,” said son No. 1. “It’s all settled.”
The plan as outlined to this dude, was that he go down to the lake early and reserve a good spot, seeing as how there would be a crowd that you couldn’t fit into the Astrodome there on the morning of the 29th.
“Get a nice shady spot,” said son No. 2. “Make sure you have a place for your folding chair, it’s your day. Besides we need a place for a headquarters.”
Food! What would Dad like most to eat on this day? It was soon decided that hamburgers and ballpark hot dogs would suffice. “Dad, are you writing this down?’ said daughter No. 1. “We’ll need plenty of chili and chopped onions and melt some cheese to pour on just before the tabasco sauce. You’ll want some fritos to crumble on top of that. And oh yeah, dad, make sure the wieners are those big fat ones.” Dessert would be double-stuffed oreos.
Dad said with the expensive drugs he was taking since his last stroke, and the small bit of progress he was making in his diet, maybe he shouldn’t. But they stopped him right there. “Make sure those are all beef franks, Dad. If you can’t treat yourself on your own day, you’re going to ruin this for the rest of us.”
Dad apologized and said forget about him. He would just have a small snack and then go on to the lake. So Dad went to the lake early that morning, and purchased large quantities of food which he managed to unload in about six trips from the car to the headquarters table—all the while feeling very honored.
At about dark the children arrived, honking their horns and yelling ceremoniously and began unloading surprises—tape decks, loudspeakers, the neighbors’ kids and enough Black Sabbath and Pearl Jam to keep a Memorial Day concert going all night.
Next morning, everybody slept late in honor of Dad, who was allowed to fix breakfast for the whole company. While clearing away the breakfast dishes, the young folks left to launch the boat.
“You just stay here and take it easy, Dad,” yelled No. 1 from the boat. “We’ll feel out the water conditions.” The feeling out was completed at noon. All the kids returned famished from their feeling out. While Dad cleared away the noon dishes, his children napped, tired out from honoring Dad so hard.
Then everyone went down and got into the boat, except for Dad. “Give us a big push and then jump on. Dad gave a mighty shove and then with a great leap landed knees first on the bow of the boat. The boat never moved one inch from the bank. The crunching sound practically made everyone sick as Dad rolled around there on the shores of Lake McClellan, bleeding profusely from both knees.
They were still yelling for him to get medical attention as they headed out to open water for an afternoon of water skiing.
“Dad, as soon as you can walk, have someone look at those knees.”
“Dad, it doesn’t matter how you load my car, just be careful of those Pearl Jam tapes.”
“Dad, take it easy, and have a wonderful Father’s Day.”
But by then they were out of earshot, having done all that they could do.
They found him there in the late afternoon sun, both knees bandaged brightly, the blood just seeping through the bandages. He was in a folding chair, head thrown back, sleeping in the thin sunlight. He heard their voices as in a dream.
“Look at him. He’s all worn out from all the fun.”
“Somebody get those flies away from his mouth.”
“I can’t wait until next year; it’s a lot of trouble, but Dad’s worth it.”