It is finished. Oh if you’ve ever been in a church service around Easter, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase and know who said it. If not or having trouble remembering who, let me help. It was Jesus. Stop! But keep reading please. Don’t worry, I’m not about to share with you my next eloquent words I usually communicate on Sunday mornings. I’ll spare you that. HOWEVER I did find myself thinking that this evening as I concluded performing the wedding ceremony of Andrew and my new daughter-in-law, Hayden. In fact I waited long enough for them to get out of ear shot, I raised my hands and exclaimed, “YAY”! I was so excited. It is finished, both kid’s weddings and all the hoopla that goes along with them is behind me.

It is hard to believe that just five weeks ago I was penning my blog about Bethany’s wedding and bragging about how well she turned out. And here it is so soon after that I feel so compelled to do the same again about Andrew. But gosh did he turn out good too. It was just Saturday night as I ate at Richard’s Smokehouse did one of you walk up to me and congratulate me on Andrew’s impending wedding. What followed would make any daddy stand up tall, smile and be proud. I know what Tony was trying to do was simply make a comment of how good Andrew ran the store in my absence for a couple of hours one day but what he really did was complement Andrew. One of the greatest desires I have always had for my children is for them to be polite, courteous and as helpful as possible to people they come into contact. Be it at Eagle Hardware, church, school or out and about, just be kind. Be nice. You never know what’s going on in a person’s life and if you’ll ever see them again. As Tony shared with his interaction with Andrew the other day, I realized that maybe some of my words and encouragement stuck with my son. Yay! That makes me happy. Andrew gets the gold star!

I am proud to be his daddy (and Bethany’s for that sake). And know what? I think he’s proud to call me, “daddy”, as well. Now of course it’s just “dad” these days but I’ll take it. I know that not in just his actions but, oddly enough, he tells me that. It was so nice to hear him say, “thank you” many times over the course of this past weekend. Gee, not only is he polite but he is appreciate too? He must like me. And there is no greater Father’s Day gift he could give me than for me to know he likes me. Yes, over the years I’ve received my fair share of handmade crafts (of which many I still have), the occasional neckties (none of which I still have) and the traditional Father’s Day cards BUT just his desire to join me on an ice cream run to Dairy Queen this past week was enough.

So to my own two kids, let me say thank you. Thank you for allowing me the privilege of raising you. You both have turned out awesome and I could not be more proud to call you mine. And what a crazy past few weeks it has been as I have watched both of you marry and celebrate with you. So proud. I guess I am still amazed I didn’t mess you two up too much raising you. And now to be a Father-in-law, what a privilege. Welcome Hayden to the Risinger family. You are such a sweet young lady and I am thrilled you are officially a Risinger. To my own dad, thank you as well and Happy Father’s Day!

I close with just one thing. Father’s Day is soon. Please take the time to call your father and wish him a Happy Father’s Day. Though you may be asking, what does a hardware store guy get telling me to call my father? Simply put, you just don’t know how long you have him. I had the wonderful privilege of knowing Gene Kindle and unfortunately he is no longer with us. Though he was not my dad, he sure treated me as a son. I will be forever grateful to him for the time he took teaching me, guiding me, helping me, hunting and fishing with me, and being a great role model. You are missed. So don’t let the day go by and miss the opportunity to, somehow, wish him well. And, in the meantime, Bethany, Will, Andrew, and Hayden, you may “wish me well” with some homemade brownies and ice cream. Those would be just fine.

From your hardware store guy and a proud father,
Happy Father’s Day and see you soon.