Joshua has likened Torrey Gazette to “a long family dinner table where everyone can yell at each other.” In keeping with this agreeable imagery, I'd like to propose a toast. It won't take long, I promise. I want to say a few words in honor of my old man without embarrassing him overmuch. Fill a glass.
Dad, last week you officially retired from the job you've been working for almost as long as I've been alive. You're moving on to other things now; working as hard as you always did, only elsewhere. I'm excited for you, and right now I want to thank you for something for which you've never asked thanks in all the years I've known you.
Five days out of every seven for the past seventeen years, you drove an hour and a half each way to get to work and back. That's fifteen hours a week, seven hundred eighty hours a year, for a total of over thirteen thousand hours.
Do you know, I never heard you complain. Not even once.
It's been said mothers and fathers teach loudest when they don't seem to be teaching at all. You taught me more about what it means to be a man by driving that three-hour commute, day in and day out, than you taught me doing most anything else. It wasn't dramatic or unusually dangerous. Lord knows it was probably the least exciting part of your day. But you did it faithfully, without a murmur, and you asked nothing in return.
Real masculinity, as one pastor phrased it, is “the glad assumption of sacrificial responsibility.” You enfleshed that concept for me. I'm obliged to you in ways I'm only beginning to understand.
Here's to you, Pops.