December 17, 2017

My Dad – If given a superhero identity, his name would be “Captain Invincible!”

13512192_10101058618242918_5935911480101374113_n

I have been subject to witness several lame father figures in my lifetime, not my Dad. No, not my Dad! Simply said, and bragging about it, my Dad is my hero and the absolute best Dad in the world. In fact, some have often mentioned how they envied that I had a Dad, who continually played a part in my life, whereas their father took off on a permanent vacation where no one has any recollection of his presence, long to be forgotten.

Please know I also feel similar sentiments towards my Grandfather Cartee. He is a man of honor who often made his presence known at important life events and sometimes just showing up to spend time with me, for no specific reason at all, other than to see me.

Here are some reasons why I proclaim such a dignified title in honor of the man who has changed my life for the better in so many ways. He simply is, meaning my Dad shows up to the simple events. He attended my graduations from high school and the colleges I attended and sporting events when I was younger. In addition to my mother, he is the first to buy one of my books when I publish “yet one more.”

I do not consider fatherhood to be easy; however I do not think it is rocket science either. My father takes care of those he loves. When you love someone, one might argue it comes instinctively natural and easy to just do what a Dad does. With a family and wife in mind, you want to be a better person. You want to strive for greater, because you have someone depending on you as if your life depended on it, and more often than not, those lives do depend on your efforts for income.

Sometimes our greatest strengths are in our greatest efforts to fight for those we love. We try because we love. Dad loves me and my sister. He tries, He shows up. He is present. Sometimes that approach to simply be is the best way to be a great Dad and person of strength. I must admit that my father has done so in extraordinary ways, in ways that many other lacking fathers could learn from.

Sometimes all you have to do is watch the person you aspire to be like and follow their example. At least, as I am about to marry Lisa in October, that is what I am doing, while the thought of children is not in the so distant future.

My philosophy is simple here: I want to be an awesome father! I watch my Dad and do what he does. And if perplexed, I just ask him a thousand questions and follow his lead on what to do. In regards to his track record, he has rarely led me astray.

As we say in a southern manner of respect, if I had my Bud Light in hand, I would say, “Dad, this Bud’s for you! I love you, man, and thank you for everything you have done for our family, especially for me!”

If I could give my father a superhero title, it would be “Captain Invincible!” He is one of the most resilient men I have ever known. He rarely lets me down. And when needed, he is almost always there to support me, especially in regards to my mental illness. While no one is perfect, my father, as a Christian leader and servant, is about as close as any man I know can get!

Pictures with Dad on a Dusty Shelf – a poem dedicated to all good fathers. Happy Father’s Day!

DSC_0105_edited_5x7_pictures_pictures

I wrote this poem almost ten years ago to capture a tale of what it would feel like to view pictures on a wall and then look on the life I shared with my father, together or perhaps one day after he passes.

The included picture captures the essence of a son leaning on his father’s shoulder, fishing, looking over him to learn the art. They spend time together, as Dad and son, at Folly’s Island, near the Morris Island Lighthouse, making memories. I capture the moment, from a distance, with a camera to create a photo that touched many of my readers over the last several years. The words of the poem reinforce the idea that moments with fathers are indeed always special and precious ones to be cherished and remembered.

Pictures with Dad on a Dusty Shelf

Pictures with memories are all around.
Truth and love in these memories is what I have found.
A Father and a Son-there is no force so strong.
It pains my heart when I have done you wrong
Or when I am away from family for periods so long.

Through these photographs, it is evident that you are my best friend.
As your son, I will serve you until one of our lives comes to an end.
Because of your will to work hard, my foundation has been set.
Against my family, I will stand up to any threat.

Pictures of you remind me to never, never quit.
Reflections of my father make me smile when I come to relax and sit.
Smiles in pictures make moments come alive.
To be a man of God becomes the passion for which I strive.

Fifty years is so much more than one can ask before they pass.
To my father on his fiftieth birthday, I must raise my glass.
Despite my selfishness, my flaws, and my pride,
As my father, you live honorably with your example in the choices you decide.

One day when you are unfortunately gone,
I will be paying the boy next door to mow my lawn.
I will stare at the pictures of the memories that will never fade.
Tears will flow, but I will always be grateful for those good times, the sacrifices that were paid,
And the abundant moments of love, together as father and son that we made.

December 2, 2006

I posted this picture today on Facebook to commemorate one of the many memories I spent with my father, both of us displaying our pride for Auburn University at Christmas time, Gus Malzahn style. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! And Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there who live and make kids like me proud to call “Dad” by the distinguished title of a parent who earns the privilege to care for a family.

1912491_248266925354392_1408870603_o