This post is going to be a bit different from my usual because it is about my earthly father instead of my heavenly Father. This past Sunday would have been my dad’s 89th birthday. I say “would have been” because he died when he was only 72. I miss him a lot, even though it has been 17 years since he died. I think I will always miss him.
My son, who is 15, has never met his grandfather because my dad died before my son was born. I show him pictures and talk about my dad, but it’s not the same. My son knows he is taller than both me and my husband in large part because his grandfather was 6′ 5″ tall, but only because I’ve told him that. This makes me sad because my dad was a great guy and a terrific grandfather to his other grandkids.
My son is like his grandfather in other ways, too. He has a sense of humor and loves to talk to people, even people he doesn’t really know. We used to go camping when I was a kid, and my dad would walk around the campground striking up conversations with other campers. My son does the same kind of thing, like the time when he was 7 and started a conversation with the people at the shuttle stop at Disney World. I think my dad and my son would have gotten along great, but they will not get that chance in this life.
This week, as I have thought about my dad’s birthday and how much I miss him, I have been more aware of people around me who are smoking, whether it be in the smoking area at work as I drive by or in a car in the grocery store parking lot. Many of these people are young women and men, some are people I know are well-educated and should know better.
My dad died of emphysema from 50 years of smoking cigarettes. When he started, the dangers of cigarette smoking were not well known. But we have known cigarettes cause cancer and kill for a long time, and I don’t understand how people can still smoke.
If you smoke, I urge you to quit NOW! If you have kids, do what you can to increase the chances that their kids will get to know you. None of us has control over the number of our days on this earth, but we certainly owe it to our family and friends to not do something that is highly likely to shorten those days.