The older I get, the fewer opportunities I get to spend with my parents. So, when a weekend comes up where I get to see either or both of them, I get real excited. This past weekend my father came over on Friday afternoon because Mother, my sisters, wife and daughters and other women connected to that group had a girls weekend out. (Shopping in Grandberry.) That meant Dad and I got the weekend together.
--That's Dad and me at my niece's wedding this past Summer.
That evening we went to the PSHS vs. PWSHS football game at Clark Stadium after a quick meal at Firehouse Subs on Spring Creek. I played football in high school at French High School in Beaumont, and Dad refereed pee-wee through high school football for over twenty years. Going to a game with him brought back great memories and was something we could share like a father and son sharing a hunting trip together. Plano lost. West won. Bryce Merkling, West QB and who attends Legacy, had a great game!
After an 11-mile run at White Rock Lake with David Chisum and the gang, I joined Dad for breakfast at Corner Bakery (I had the Farmer's Scrambler. You can do that after a morning run.). We read through the Sports Day page together and made predictions on the UT vs. Tech and A&M vs. Baylor matchups. Dad graduated from Texas Tech with a major in Chemistry, and worked as a chemist in a refinery lab for his entire career. Kim and I graduated from Baylor, and one daughter goes there and the other graduated from A&M.
After we washed the red dirt from their car at a local carwash, we headed to see the film Flags of Our Fathers, the story behind the famous picture of the raising of the flag over Iwo Jima. The story drug some, but it told the true events behind the "second flag" raised and three of the men in the pictured used by the US government to raise mone for the war. It is tragic and graphic, but captured the pathos of the events.
The first movie I remember going to with my father was the original The Longest Day with John Wayne and a host of other well-known actors. Since that time, I have liked those kinds of movies, and I love the ones most that I get to see with my father. This will be one of my all-time favorites because I got to see it with him.
After the movie, we headed down to Waco for the Aggie/Baylor game (stopping at SubWay for an on-the-run meal). The trip down went quickly because I got the chance to hear again my story with Dad. We rehearsed the houses and towns we lived in, and I got a refresher course on his college days and pre-kid days with Mother. Listening to those again sang the roots of my heritage deeper than before, and my life seemed to be more anchored than it was two hours before.
We met Kim, my daughters, nephew, niece, brother in law, and others in the clan at Will Call and entered Floyd Casey Stadium to a great football game and the largest attendance in the stadium since it was built (topping the 51,000 plus record when BU and A&M met in 1995). 54,000 plus screaming Aggies and Bears and two evenly matched teams made for a fabulous evening! I wore my Aggie hat for Storey and my "Baylor Dad" shirt for Summer. I couldn't lose no matter who won! We cheered, laughed, and shared a memory of a lifetime. Baylor lost, but it was a great day for the Ags. I hope they continue to do well.
Dad and I got home late that night. I was pleased it was the night to "fall back" to get back in sync with the sun with our clocks. We shared a wonderful "oneWorship" at Legacy Church together. The room was full, and Keith Coast brought an entertaining and effective message. Dad headed to pick up Mother in Burleson after the service, but not before we had lunch at Pot Belly Sandwich Works. (Do you see a sub sandwich pattern in our eating habits?) We talked about how we do church at Legacy and why we do what we do. He patiently listened and concluded, "I guess as long as its biblical and the Gospel is being shared..." I liked his conclusion.
These times with my Dad are fewer and farther between as we both get older, but I will cherish this one for all my days. My life is more meaningful because I had another chance to know the man who I get to call Dad and who molded me into who I am in so many ways today. I already long for the next time we get to hang out.