This blog is from Jon Dale, my oldest son and father of four of the children showing in the photo below. I asked him to be my first guest blogger and am overwhelmed at what he has written about me!
It’s a funny thing, but when I look at my hands these days I don’t see my hands, I see my dad’s hands. It’s as if they got older overnight.
The reason I often take a second glance at my hands is that they remind me of my hero. You see, when I saw those hands I knew I was safe, loved, and cared for.
Only now, three decades later, with four children of my own am I beginning to understand what it must have been like for him raising a young family. And I’m not doing it while running a medical practice, planting a church and starting a school…and that’s just what my dad did before I was ten. But the most important things about my dad aren’t the things he accomplished or the countless people who’ve been impacted by his work over the decades, my dad is a great dad.
I remember when we lived back in England and he’d wake me up early to go kayaking, I remember family camping trips in our old VW camper, I remember hours on the tennis court and soccer field. No matter how busy he was he always found time for us kids.
I’ve learned so much from how he treats my mom. The way he loves her and cares for her and encourages her to pursue her passions and desires. My hope is that my wife is the beneficiary of that.
But I’ve not just learned from my dad at the best of times…I’ve also seen him at the worst of times. Business failures, relationships betrayed, property stolen. And perhaps it’s when things have been most difficult that I’ve been most impressed by his character and commitment to his faith and values. It’s been his example that’s helped me face my difficult days with faith and hope.
Over the years our relationship has changed. My dad isn’t just my dad now, he’s a close friend and advisor, a sharer in adventures around the world, and of course now I get to watch him be an amazing grandfather to my kids. I just hope my son Elijah feels the same way about me thirty years from now that I feel about my dad today.
By: Jon Dale | @jondale