I really like this picture of my Dad because if you look closely, you can see the brown backpack that he’s wearing. It may not strike anyone else, but it strikes me because that is the backpack that I used in middle school. Never mind that he has been a engineer at TRANE company for the past 35 years, has designed and patented products, and in his free time started a side business. It’s not as though my Dad can’t afford to buy a new backpack; but he’s a man of principle and the principle in this case is: Why buy a new backpack when you already have one that works just fine?
My Dad recently flew out to visit me and took me grocery shopping. When we went down the paper products aisle, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Do I dare ask for it? What will he say? Is it asking for too much? Maybe I shouldn’t….
I decided to take the plunge and nonchalantly put zip-loc bags in the cart. Not being able to slip anything past him, my Dad picked up the product, examined it, and looked for the price. I knew what was coming next: “Now, I don’t mind buying these for you as long as you’re careful not to waste them.” I knew exactly what he meant…My Dad was raised in a frugal home and passed down to his kids this value. Growing up, my mom dutifully packed a lunch for my Dad every week day. And every week day, my Dad would come home at 5:30, kiss my mom and return his brown paper lunch bag and ziploc bags to her. She would wash them out and dry them in preparation for the next day’s lunch. I never knew differently of the world.
My Dad is my biggest fan. He was a good runner back in his day and encouraged/forced me to run track as well. During one of my first track meets, an official warned him that if he ever ran along side of me during the 400 meter dash again, I would be disqualified. He was introduced to the bleachers, but nevertheless I could hear him every step of my race.
Dad, since you check the blog multiple times a day (mostly to your disappointment,) I thought I would make your day by actually blogging and dedicating this post to you. Thank you for all the sacrifices you made to give me the life I have now. Thank you for loving me and teaching me to love God. Thank you for being a supportive Dad and teaching me to savor and appreciate the little things…like a fresh brown paper bag and brand new Zip-loc bags.