Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
1 Cor. 13:4
It’s three days late, but I want to devote this post to my dad, Joe Sullivan. The reason I’ve waited to write this post is that I’m having a hard time knowing what to write: Not because I’m low on ideas, but because I have so many things I want to say.
Now, let me preface this by saying that Dad and I don’t have a touchy-feely, emotion-sharing type of relationship. We like to exercise hard together, not have conversations about feelings. But I’m going to go out on a limb for this Father’s Day post. Here goes.
Dad, thank you for your years of patience, love, and understanding. Your calm, acceptance, wisdom, and love have helped make me the person I am today. You’ve been the tactful listener when I needed it. Your thoughtful conversations have given me guidance ever since I was old enough to appreciate them. Your faith, reliable attendance at church, and teaching me about Christianity helped me form my own foundation as a believer.
You taught me everything I know about how to pitch a tent. You flew me on pillows when I was a small child. You read Dr. Seuss to us so many times you could quote entire books from memory. Your “fish, broccoli, and rice” menu is something I still think of first when I have fish. You hiked many muddy miles with me, even carrying my backpack when I was too tired. You taught me basic photography techniques and encouraged my interest in photography. We’ve spent innumerable hours walking and playing with the dog. You taught me all the trails at St. Edward’s State Park, and we’ve walked and run on all of them. You sent me silly pictures and videos while we were in Massachusetts. Recently, I’ve deeply valued the hundreds — probably approaching thousands — of miles we’ve ridden together, rain, shine, cold, hilly; it’s reassuring to know that if something happens, you’re there.
You’ve always been there when I needed you.
You and mom provided a wonderful, stable, loving home for us to grow up in. Your commitment to your job, even when it was awful, made it possible for us to establish long-term ties at school and in the neighborhood. You modeled what a loving marriage looks like and provided us with a two-parent home, improving our chances of having stable marriages. You showed us by example how to be responsible Christian adults and spouses.
I love you, Dad. I can only aspire to one day be a parent like you.