Child: n. a creation that requires special attention…
So, here is the question: who wrote the book on raising a child, or more specifically, with “special attention”? I’m sure every parent read one, or… did they just write their own? Would love to speak to a number of parents who raised their first born. On Father’s Day, especially now, almost two months after my Father is sittin’ wonderfully on the Rainbow, I have to ask that. I had a wonderful man who gave me “special attention”. In everything, always attentive to me.
As a newborn child, we know “nothing”; it has to be learned. We watch, we mimic, we learn, we shadow, we imitate. We do everything that our dad’s do. It’s life, it “grows”, it expands what we know. All of this from a person that is within our view, one who shows so much love and attention to us; someone who, (if you are a first child in your family) knows little about being the perfect father, but yet, they are. One who, learned life from HIS father. I’m a blessed person, because my family, from my parents to all of my aunts, uncles, grandparents, relatives, have been perfect, (in my opinion!). I also know that that statement is very subjective, but it is all that I know. I had a very quiet grandfather, and his love showed so much through that. That was, a lot of the time, my own father. Sometimes, “silence is golden”. As we observe from our childhood, we learn a lot from love, and, as I like to call it, love actions. Helping you climb up a stair, helping you to express yourself, helping you in all you are involved in, helping you in all of your sports, helping you to understand emotions.
I remember back in the 1980″s Dad was a fan of Jimmy V; Jimmy Thomas Valvano- Jimmy V. Jimmy coached several college basketball teams, but is noted for when he coached North Carolina State. N.C. State wasn’t in the powerful position, back in those days, but Jimmy changed that. He won the 1983 national title against a heavily favored Houston Cougars, and after N.C. State pulled out the upset, you could see Jimmy run up and down the court, looking to hug someone, or something! I remember that game, asking my dad, “Who IS that?”. He said to just watch him, and you’ll see a lot of spirit come of him. It’s funny, because Jimmy could definitely talk, ( he was also a basketball commentator), and dad wasn’t, but Jimmy could talk by his actions. You could see his beliefs after that championship game, looking for, something! That was something dad was very good at, spirit coming out of nothing, and nothing grows. Jimmy died young, at 47, from bone cancer, but boy, did he give an emotional speech in 1993, just months before he passed. He received the Author Ashe Courage Award, due to what he achieved in a short period of time. Dad was a All American football, and baseball player; he was drafted by the New York Yankees. His point was you might fall, but you’ll get back up and keep trying. As Jimmy V said, “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”. Dad didn’t originate that, but he believed it, and made me believe. As I said, sometimes you believe what was NOT said, but the actions convinced you to believe. What happened to me, with my brain tumors, happened to fall under the saying, ” Don’t give up, don’t ever give up”. How could I think another way, when my Dad instilled in me, the Jimmy V statement of “don’t give up”, after my surgeries? I didn’t, I couldn’t. I learned that from my Dad. Don’t give up, keep going forward, you’ll get there. Might not be where you wanted to go, (uhm, that’s God’s plan!), but where you go means progress, and isn’t that what drives us, not giving up?
I miss my Dad. I think that anyone who knew him would say the same thing; he was remarkable. For all of us who knew him, loved him, respected him, learned from him, let’s bow our heads and say to him, “Thanks Dad, (Joe) for how you’ve affected me, how you loved every day, and how you lived every day.” The most important words in my life, now and forever, were very simple, and said by Jimmy V; and nothing will be more important to me while I’m on this earth.
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, He believed in me”
I love you, Dad