This week is one of those weeks I wish I could freeze in time. As some of you already know, I almost lost my dad after a routine surgery a couple of years ago. Since then I have tried to take every opportunity to make moments with him. Last year this time I was planning a golf trip for his 70th birthday to Hilton Head to play some of his bucket list courses. However, as we got closer to the dates it was quickly determined that dad was going to need another surgery to fix some stuff from the previous surgery. That meant that we were going to have to put our trip on hold.
Fast forward to three days ago and we were both boarding planes from other parts of the country to converge in South Carolina to have a week of father and son time doing the one thing we have done together for years…golf. Since the time I can remember I have had a golf club in my hand with my dad not far behind. Some of my greatest childhood memories came from time on the golf course with my him. As an elementary aged kid, dad was the pro at a golf course in Florida. Summer and after school days were filled with time on the course or around it with my pops. One of my favorite things we did together as a kid was when he would get done for the day and take me out to play with him to finish the day.
There was something about the stillness of a late spring, summer, or fall evening that was perfect. No one else was out there. It was quiet. The wind was usually still, and there was no agenda to win, keep score, or be the best. The sole purpose was a dad instilling the love of a game that has served him well in this life and using it as an excuse to spend time with his little boy. In fact it is something I am now getting to share with my daughter. Every time her and I walk down a fairway together on a calm evening, I am taken back in time to that little boy walking with his dad around the quiet golf course.
Today we finished up a great day of golf, laughter, good food, and relaxing. After dinner we returned to the house to just hang out. The house we are staying in is on the second green of one of the courses we played this week. As the day started to give way to evening dad looked at me and said, “Why don’t we go out to the fairway and green and chip for awhile. It took me about five seconds to jump up grab my wedge and a couple of golf balls and head out the door. As we began to meander ourselves a hundred yards or so from the green I noticed how still and calm the evening was. Dad and I were simply soaking it in. Even though our lives have now given way to time and years, in that moment I was taken back. For a brief moment, I was that little boy again. I was the kid that was just hanging out with daddy after a long day. We were chipping and making up competitions from different spots. Each time we walked to a new location to up the game, I felt as if I was that eight year old, wide eyed, adolescent soaking in every single thing my daddy had to share with me.
It is so tough to explain the feelings I had in the moment. Even though we have played some great golf at some great courses this week, I would trade them all for that 20 minutes we had tonight. It was like I was frozen back in time as a little boy looking up to his incredible dad. In one regard I was sad that I will never be that little boy again. However, as long as my dad and I still have breath…I pray that we will still have moments that remind me that it is ok to still be my dads little man that soaks up moments with the man he has looked up to his entire life. I also pray that when I “grow up” I will be half the man that he is. I pray that I am the husband and father that he is. I pray that one day when my little girls are grown, married, and have kids of their own, that they too will be taken back in time and remember that no matter how old they get they will always be my little girls.
If you still have your mom and dad I pray that you still make moments with them. If you no longer have your mom and dad, I pray that you are making moments with someone in your life that reminds them to keep looking up to someone. Remember…at the end of the day you are still someone’s little boy or little girl.