When I was a child, I occasionally considered my father one of my opponents. This wasn’t so much because he constantly challenged me or was a bad person, but because of the fun I thought I was missing out on. As I grew older, I reluctantly realized how grateful I should have been for the way he led and protected his household.
My father, James Weirick, is a man among men.
Over the recent years of my adulthood, my father and I have become less rigidly father-son related, but increasingly peer-and-equals related. Perhaps this is just what happens with every man when he becomes an adult. Even so, I’ve found our relationship growing stronger than any point during my childhood. I’ve always loved my dad, but now I’ve grown to really respect him, too.
“Only a dad but he gives his all,
To smooth the way for his children small,
Doing with courage stern and grim
The deeds that his father did for him.
This is the line that for him I pen:
Only a dad, but the best of men.”
- Edgar Guest
Here are some things I remember about my father over the last couple decades.
- My father consistently modeled a strong Midwestern work ethic, just like his father before him. Time off was rare and he came home exhausted from the office, but providing for his family was a principal value to him.
- He stayed involved in the lives of his wife and children. He made it a point to eat dinner as a family, and attend sports games and musical performances if one of his kids was involved.
- My dad showed me how to endure depressing seasons. He carefully tended to me and my siblings as my mom battled cancer. He hustled to stay positive and keep busy when he unexpectedly lost his job.
- Most Saturday mornings growing up, I would sleepily saunter downstairs to see my dad in the kitchen, making eggs and pancakes while listening to NPR’s “Car Talk.” At dinnertime, it was Garrison Keillor in “A Prairie Home Companion.”
- He volunteered his time as an assistant coach when my middle school basketball team needed more leadership. He coached our B-squad all the way to win the city championship!
- My father taught me car maintenance, like changing the oil and checking the tire pressure. These skills have come in handy many times since.
- Several times, I crept into the basement to startle my dad, who was exercising on the stationary bike and singing along to Handel’s “Messiah.”
- Father-son lunches at Famous Dave’s BBQ or Cheap Charlie’s (little dive diner with a pink pig on the roof!).
- I fully credit (read: blame) him for my punny sense of humour. And he tells an unholy amount of Scandinavian “Sven & Ole” jokes.
- My dad has shown me what it looks like to faithfully love one woman, through good times and bad. My parents’ marriage is funny, committed, and amazing to me.
- He’s been a consistent example of a man who loves God, serves in the local church, and leads his family to each have a relationship with Jesus.
Take a minute to call, write, or share memories with your father.
Read more about my family: