Awesome Man Thursday

Welcome to the second week, and third installment of AWESOME MAN THURSDAY…

I think I will continue this, until i run out of men… Now there is a mean Liz Taylor joke there somewhere… but I am above that…

Today, I will talk about a Man I know pretty well. He is my dad… if you want to get super technical, he is my step dad!

This post would be better saved for fathers day, I know, but with my attention span, who knows if I will still be blogging then!

My step dad, is.  He exudes, what i believe is the most underrated quality a person can have, dependability. He will rarely wow you with his words, he wont make you car 100000000 horsepower, or make your computer work right (but he can turn it on now!). He never stands out in a crowd, and rarely draws attention to himself (but he did waterski in his 70’s). But he is there… he is always there!


Farm boy, parasite survivor (ask him the story, it will kill you how funny it is), Math Brain, Engineer all of this by 1960.

Happy family, Beautiful Wife, great daughter, son who didn’t fall far from the tree, the dream life. Then it changed, his wife diagnosed with cancer, his world in upheaval, but he remained…. consistent! With great support from his family and friends (and Grandma Barkey) he watched his Love slowly leave this world to go to the next. A lesser man, would have crumbled… Not this man. Why? I am going to stop writing this right now, and call and ask him, I have never done that… 30 minutes later, Wow.

How did he get through? He gave up control. He put his trust in the fact that God understood the situation. He realized that he could not change what was going on, and he used his faith, his children, and his family as support. He allowed himself to be surrounded by those who cared for him, and allowed them to serve the family in the way they felt best! Grandma Barkey (his mother in law) took on a big role in helping with his kids, through her grief she knew she could help. His parents helped out… my favorite line was this comment. “I drew strength from the fact that I had a job to do” while he was speaking about work… it showed me again who he is… He is a man who needs to be “busy about his fathers work”. If that was being an engineer, a father, a servant of his King… he draws strength from the roles he is filling!

Fast forward to 1976.

Summer, Joy Bible Camp.

His daughter, sees a fat little baby, and wants to help look after him. Fat Baby’s mom, had lost her husband suddenly and was also single with 2 kids (more on her some other time!)…

Fast Forward to 1977.

Blue Jays first spring training is a few weeks away, and This man marries the fat baby’s mom.

Enter Blended Family.

The last 5 years his world has been stable, not ideal, but stable. Now it involves a 5 year old, and Hell Child an 18 month old.

Stable, dependable. The new bride needed those things, the new son and daughter, as well. There was an adjustment period, so I have been told. But now 33 years later, I see Dad.

He didn’t want me to play football, thinks its a stupid game (i believe he agrees with my wifes blog) and thought I would get hurt. After two years of low level groveling, he relented and I played… and loved it. It consumed me, and he although he doesn’t love the game,  could often be spotted standing by his car in the parking lots watching games.

Oh and I got hurt.

At my wedding, I used the line “Thank you for loving me like a Gee, and letting me be raised like a Forde”. He encouraged me to have great relationships with my Paternal side of the family, he even went to all events. That had to be weird. (this is in no way saying my Mom didn’t… cause as I said there is more on her coming in a later post!)

My dad and I are so different… dependable, consistent, reliable. Those words are not often used to describe me, unless there is a prefix attached (usually un, or in). But those are things that I value dearly in others, i believe because of him!

He helped raise a kid, whose actions made no sense, whose theology he sometimes questions, and whose mind is all over the place, and he brought calm and peace into that world.

He is not perfect… But he is there!

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One Response to Awesome Man Thursday

  1. Bubba aka Ken Arnou says:

    I’ve wrote some letters like that to MY dad, being thankful that he was always “there”. Not perfect by any means. Heck, he didn’t really have an example, his dad (my grandpa) died when my dad was only 12. Workin’ on a farm. Quality time together was basically NIL. But my dad tries. He stayed in contact with me when I left home, wrote me letters (grade 6 education) and then upgraded to working a computer for internet and email. Still keeps me posted on what’s going on on average 4-5 times a week or more. Encouraged me in all things, offered advice when he could. Was a listening ear when I called.

    Father’s day seems to be more heartfelt each year – the thought occurs that dad won’t be
    around one day (mine’s not quite 70 yet, but had his first knee replacement a month ago) He’s still fairly healthy and should be around awhile yet. I dread the day when he’s not there.

    Lost my real mom years ago, but basically was raised from 11/12 by a Step mom, whom I’ve always just called MOM. If I had to pick between the two, I’d pick her. Mother’s day is a good thing to, to really thank them for what they put up with over the years. (I wasn’t really into any trouble, but coming into an already put-together family, it was added stress for them for sure) Rambling..sorry… long life story. 🙂 But a good one.
    Give your dad a big ol’ bear hug next time you see him. He deserves it. Hearing the words “thanks dad” is probably the best thing he’s ever heard. I know it is for me.

    Must be dust in the air or allergies or something…sniff.. hard to read this fine print.

    Take care,


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