Tis the season where neck ties, golf balls, and mid-priced polo shirts begin to fly off the shelves. That’s right, Father’s Day is just around the corner. And besides the annual tradition of the final round of the U.S. Open being played, that Sunday in June is our opportunity to remember, appreciate, and show a little love to the men in our lives who went above and beyond the call of duty as fathers.
I’ve written about my dad before — recognizing him for the things he taught me and passed down. But wisdom, impatience, and hairlines aren’t the only things I’ve soaked up from Tommy’s genes. My dad joked once about being on a treadmill in a hotel workout room and having a moment where he looked at himself in the mirror — only to realize that he was looking back at his own father. Well, pops, I’ve been having more of my own treadmill moments than I’d care to admit. And as I get older, I’m realizing that I have a lot more of Tom Noonan in me than maybe we both thought.
You’ve passed down your impatience that veered its ugly head most on the golf course. Occasionally, it haunts me while driving.
You’ve passed down your rare ability to stain or spill food and drink onto most shirts you own. I’ll sometimes check the stock values of Shout.
You’ve passed down your distinct ability to find the things that need to be fixed or improve. Restaurants with slow service don’t stand a chance when I walk in.
And apparently the ability to fall asleep in any position, at any time, mostly while watching TV, doesn’t skip a generation. The couch is my second bed.
But dad, you’ve also passed along so many things that I’m thankful for — and that appreciation continues to grow year after year.
Thank you for all those nights you took me to the driving range in Ohio. That’s where my love for the greatest game in the world grew.
Thank you for all you taught me (directly and indirectly) about working with people, being a leader, and making a difference in the workplace.
Thank you for those Promise Keeper conferences you took me to. It was there where I got my first glimpse at what it looked like for Godly men to love and praise Jesus.
Thank you for all of your sacrifice and hard work as I grew up — all so I could have the opportunities to experiment, grow, and pursue my passions.
Thank you for teaching me that we grow most when we get outside our comfort zone. It’s been one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever been able to apply.
And most of all — thank you for being a LOVING, AFFECTIONATE, and SELFLESS father who loved his kids the best that he could. I’m grateful that I have an example in my life to one day replicate when I become a father myself.
Whether I like it or not, I have a lot of “Tommy from Toledo” in me. I see it in the mirror, hear it when I speak, and feel it when I’m in the workplace.
And now, more then ever, I’m OK with that.
• Colin Noonan fights becoming more and more like his father as the director of youth ministries at Mountain View Lutheran Church in Ahwatukee. Keep the conversation going with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.