Sunday, June 21, 2015

Richard the Great Adventurer (otherwise known as my dad)

Today I don't get to be with my dad.
He is in Colorado probably at church talking to people
or there is the possibility that he in Washington DC or
on a short trip to Mumbai....he is hard to pin down at times.
I am here in California in my kitchen trying to figure out a way
to let him know how incredibly thankful I am that he is,
in fact, my dad.
My dad was a missionary's kid.
At age 3, he sailed from New York Harbor with his parents and sister, Lou Anne,
within months of World War 2 coming to a close.
He remembers the shell shocked harbor of Naples, Italy, and
survived a bout of malaria within his first year of arriving in India
At the age of 4, he was shuttled up to the tea plantations
in the Nilgiri Hills of India to attend a  British boarding school.
He learned about bananas on toast, sipping tea and VERY PROPER table manners ...
which he tried (with no avail) to pass on to his children.
(How can you sit up, keep your elbows off the table, take small bites,
chew with your mouth closed and not sing...all at the same time????)
His parents worked, teaching students, hours away at a small Bible College.
He saw them a couple times a year.
This would have shattered some children.
For my dad, it only seemed to cement in him the adventurous spirit.
He had crossed the Atlantic and Indian Oceans...
He conquered the hills of India and the British Boarding school system....
He had defied a life threatening illness....
All before the age of 7.
His question?
What next?
It is the question that has propelled him through life.
Through college, grad school, church planting,
college presidenting, countless speaking engagements, overseas trips, mentoring gigs,
and now authoring a book.
He just did a life plan with a life coach....he is seventy three.
Because, clearly, retirement is out of the question.
That would be boring.
Every day, for my dad, is an adventure to be had.
A new person to meet.
A new friend to make.
A new story to tell.
24 hours of endless possibilities.
There aren't a lot of "no"s in my dad's vernacular.
Instead he says things like,
"How can we make that happen?"
"I think we should do that!"
followed by
"Wouldn't that be fun?"
And then you see the wheels start spinning in his head because,
He is going to make that happen....
He is going to do that (whatever that is)...
and he is about to have some serious fun.
If you stick around him long enough, you get to get in on the fun.
We Foth kids got in on the fun and are richer for it.
Some people say that I remind them of my Dad.
Which is fantastic except when it comes to his baldness.
This is something I could do without.  I would like to keep my hair. (No offense, Dad.)
But I want to be like my dad because I love how he looks at life.
With great expectation.
With a great love. (For my mom, for us kids and grandkids, and mostly for, Jesus)
And with a sense that his best adventure is just around the corner.
And knowing my dad? It is.

I love you, Dad.
Thank you for loving us so well and including us in your adventures!

I hope you have your best Father's Day...EVER.
And I guess my only question to you is.....
What next?

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