It’s not possible, you know, to fill dad’s shoes. Why do I even want to try? What drives one to be the hero and mentor someone else has attained to? If for no other reason than to retrace his steps or maybe to accomplish similar feats. I don’t know but it’s hard to just stand and grieve without making promises that parts of dad will live on through me.
Then I look at dads shoes. They are weary and worn, like his life at the end. Why it wasn’t long ago a nice young couple paid for his meal at the local burger place because they thought he looked homeless. He felt guilty nodding to them with a smile and climbing into his shiny (and expensive looking) truck and driving away.
I have a similar stride and gait in life as dads in many ways. Somewhere between integrity, work ethic, hunting, fishing, loving God and family, our paths are continually crossing. Dad’s path has taken him into eternity while I’m still bushwhacking the valleys, scooting across the ledges and climbing the mountains of life. From the looks of it, my shoes just might have some miles to go yet. I hope to make the most of that time given.
I do want to find the old tree dad often talked about deep in our hunting territory. When dad was young he knew this tree. In later years he would stop and rest awhile and say to “his” tree “how are you doing old timer”. My shoes will take me there soon just to say some last words. I know…talking to a tree? I sensed you might understand.
My oldest daughter best describes why dads shoes walked well and influenced so many people through life. When her younger sister needed medical attention for long periods of time, she spent that time with grandpa and grandma. One day when she was very young she was following grandma around and asked her “Grandma, why does grandpa sit at the table every morning with a cup of coffee and read his bible?” Grandma put her basket of laundry down, turned and grabbed her by the shoulders and said “listen…since your grandpa started doing that, he has become a changed man!!!” (insert urgent tone here)
So, I cannot , will not, don’t have to fill dads shoes. They are retired. But, I find myself following in his footsteps which not so oddly seem to be following someone who wore out their sandals.
The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delights in his way. (Psalms 37:23)
PS: for more about the ways of dad… Check this out… https://garydweb.wordpress.com/2019/07/20/pushy-discipleship/