Filling Dads Shoes

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.Dads Shoes_1eml

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.

Dads Shoes 4 eml

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)Jesus Rock


PS: for more about the ways of dad… Check this out…

Published by Gary Fultz

Outdoors Man, Hunter, Fisherman, Guide, Writer / Author, Photographer, Public Speaker, Musician, Song Writer, Story Teller, Follower Of Jesus. Love God and family and total strangers

44 thoughts on “Filling Dads Shoes

    1. Thanks so much Ted…You know, I in turn read all the great informative and challenging posts you put out…It’s like being back in college and helps this good ole boy communicate by the way.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Gary, your musing about you and your dad are so interesting and worth reading. These alone are a gifts to be treasured. Thanks, John Bower.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful tribute to your dad, Gary, my friend. But you, yourself, are the better tribute to him and his love for the Lord Almighty. You are already filling his shoes by being a living epistle written on your dads heart. But more so, written on the Saviors heart, with your name engraved on the palms of His hands. Bless you richly, my friend.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Gary, I had read your beautiful post here earlier today, too rushed to leave a comment, but its poignancy stuck with me.

    As I was driving home from errands in town, a song came on a SiriusXM radio channel that I felt went along with your post. The words are different, but the love and admiration of one’s father is the common ground. It is called “Leader Of The Band” by Dan Fogelberg.

    I look forward to meeting your dad, along with you and all the others who love Jesus, in our upcoming eternal home.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Steeny
      You would have loved all the fun.funny, serious and pointed dad stories at his memorial service. All that was missing was the late night bonfire…(we were in a church though). I have liked much of Fogelberg’s songs including “Leader Of The Band” . many were a cut deeper than the norm.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny you mention bonfire. I always tell my kids to not have a funeral for me if I go home to be with the Lord before they do, and instead just gather all seven of them together and have a bonfire. After the initial deep pain of loss passes, which could take many months.

        In fact, I brought it up tonight again, and I added, “And make some homemade pizzas, and slice them all crooked like I do.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely smores. I have tried to “healthy them up” a bit by buying dark chocolate, but my kids say nooooooo! They’re right. They don’t complain about Lindor brand dark chocolate with sea salt and carmel, but healthier chocolate in a smore is like a gold ring in a pig’s snout. Let the pig be the pig all-out when it comes to smores!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. And that is comforting to hear that there were stories swapped about your dad.

        Oh, death is so awful. So very awful. We do what we can to soften the blow of losing ones we love, but ultimately it really is such loss. May people take the temporary nature of life in these bodies seriously and seek the Lord while they still have time to find Him.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I do have some follow up work to do on people who said they needed to change some things in their life…Dads death “got them thinking” kind of statements. One is a 5 hour drive and the other 3 hours (we plan to talk in the boat while fishing…that’s my office)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sonrisa. My wife and I were just talking about how well we have honored our parents through life till death (they are all gone now) , and how much God has blessed us in life even through many hard times. We are connecting the dots, so to speak, on the command with a promise “Honor your Father and Mother”

      Liked by 1 person

    1. So true Francis. I may have taken dad for granted when young but his life challenged mine and many to be great parents and mentors to those around them. Rare indeed, but that is what happens when one walks with the Lord daily for a long time. thanks for your kind words

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I have some ancient trees down in the valley where I hunt whitetails and turkeys. I give them a pat and a hello when I see them. I also reflect over the fact that they were here long before me and will be here long after I’m gone. It helps me keep things in perspective. Your Dad and I would have gotten along just fine! It’s been a blessing to have found your site!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Ron. We grew up respecting the land, trees, all of nature. Yet we log, hunt and fish as necessary. Caretakers with a very high regard for what God has given us. Yes you would have really gotten along well with dad and the clan.


  5. What a wonderful read and poignant tribute, Gary. I too was blessed to have a hero-of-a-dad with big shoes to fill. (He DID wear size 12s!) Dad was a man of integrity and wisdom with a servant’s heart, known for his kindness and sense of humor. He graduated to heaven last November at age 94. I praise God for his legacy, the privilege to enjoy him for so many years, and especially the glorious hope that I will see him, Mom, and many other loved ones on the day I graduate!

    Liked by 1 person

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