I told you all that since my new gig with Examiner that I was going to use this space to vent more personally sometimes. So, if you've come here today looking for UGA news, I'm sorry but you're not going to get it.
I tried to get myself ready for bed after washing a load of clothes and having Sportscenter play off in the background. Monday begins another long week of calls and trying to reach new customers for the new job I have. I'm loving my job and couldn't be more blessed at this time in my life as far as work goes.
I took the clothes out of the dryer, hung them up and put new ones in. I stood in the living room as Sportscenter aired their Sunday Conversation about Payne Stewart, the Scottish (I believe) golfer who died tragically in a plane crash a month after he won the U.S. Open. I sat there as they detailed his win and spoke to his wife on what it meant to him. However, the kay factor in the whole thing is not the triumph of a man in sports, but a loss of a great father.
I had a rush of emotion at that very moment. A huge lump formed in my throat and I just had to sit down. I threw the clothes on my bed quickly, grabbed my phone and sent off a simple text message to my Dad, who I saw hours earlier today in Perry:
"I love you Daddy."
Ridicule as you wish, but as a 28 year old man, I have no qualms -- literally zero -- with still referring to my dad in person as "Daddy." He did to his dad until the day he died and I will until the moment he passes on. I'm from the South. It's what we do.
Then wave after wave came over me. I got to thinking about how lucky I was that I still had a father. That even after everything my dad and I have been through, that I got to spend a wonderful weekend with him, even though the Father's Day gifts (and birthday gift since he turned 54 on Saturday) had yet to arrive and I had nothing to give him but cards and promises that he would have them soon. I was thankful, humble and forgiving of past issues between us. That moment of clarity that we all get when we realize how quickly someone of such great importance to us can be taken from us. From cancer to car wrecks and heart attacks to plane crashes, life and God remind us how brief our time can be here.
And I cried. I'm still crying. Not flowing tears, but the welling up kind. The kind that make it tough to see and type because your hands are trembling. The kind that pains you to breathe. The kind that you fight because once that flood gate is opened, it's an uphill climb to turn off. Once that release valve is hit, all you end up with is a pounding headache, a sore chest and pure exhaustion.
I cried not only because of myself being blessed, but I cried for others who don't have that opportunity. My friends Jeb, Stacey and Allyson, who all lost their fathers before they were ready to. For other friends who have fathers in poor health due to cancer and other diseases. For people who should've been dads but never got the chance because they passed on too early for our liking.
When I left Perry today, I didn't really get the magnitude of Father's Day. Of course it's important to honor your dad. Of course it's important to remind him of how much you love (or miss) him. However, life gets in the way sometimes. My work computer was in Atlanta. I work out of my home in Atlanta. I needed to be in Atlanta by sundown.
I spent a lot of time with my dad over the weekend but I also watched him sleep halfway through Friday evening and half of the day Saturday. When I left, he was probably either heading back to Winston Salem where he lives or he was going to go back inside and catch a nap. He's exhausted because he's still working the same job he took years ago when he sat me down and said in essence, "Kit, I'm taking a job working nights so that we can afford for you to go to college. I'll miss out on more things like you playing on Friday nights in the band and you being in plays. But I'm doing this because I love you and deserve to go to UGA where you earned the right to attend that school. You're going to go and get an education so that you won't have to work hard like me to provide for your kids. I hope you understand."
And I did.
I didn't come from money. Not saying that everyone does, but without my dad taking the job at what was then a cigarette factory in Macon, I wouldn't have been able to realize my dream of going to UGA. A dream that I shared with both my parents, but one that was particularly special in the eyes of my dad.
I didn't grow up poor, but I didn't grow up rich. However, I grew up confident because of my parents. I learned how to be a man because of my dad. I learned how to avoid beginning fights but making sure that I'm keen on finishing them because of my dad. I shared his triumphs and learned through his mistakes. I'll be a good parent one day because of my parents as a unit. I'll be a great father because of my dad.
For every new father that I forgot to congratulate today and every old father who I forgot to say "thank you" to, I'm sorry. I got wrapped up in reality and forgot briefly what was really important. I'll do my best to try to keep it from happening again, but I'm human...I also learned how to be one of those because of my dad.
There's no good way to end a post like this. I could put pen to paper all night and not even remotely come up with a good way to express how much my dad means to me. However the best way to end things are usually complimented in the same manner in which they began...
I love you Daddy.
Until next time kids (and fathers).
Labels: General "Kit" stuff