This Sunday is Fatherís Day and, in keeping with tradition, I would like to tell you about my father ≠Ė the man I live my life trying to make proud even though heís been with the Heavenly Father for the past 30 years.
My father, Clarence Hubert Brand, was a man who made many mistakes, but he never denied a single one. And he certainly never blamed anyone else for his actions. He taught me that we are not perfect. At the same time, he taught me about integrity, hard work, generosity, compassion, respect and love.
Just this past Saturday, I was talking to two of my older brothers. We began reminiscing about our dad. My brother Bill said, ďThe one thing about dad, he was a hard worker and a generous man. He taught us all how to work and he taught us how to give.Ē
My father never once turned his back on anyone in need. Once, when I was around 13, my two brothers just happened to look out the upstairs window late one night. They saw two men syphoning gasoline out of my dadís truck. Roger, who was 17 at the time, ran downstairs, got my dadís shotgun and ran outside. He pulled the gun on the two men and told them not to move. At this point, my dad ran out of the house and demanded to know what was going on.
The two men said they were traveling down Highway 67 with their wives and kids. They had ran out of gasoline and were stranded. Dad proceeded to tell them he owned a gas station and would have been happy to help if they had just asked. He then invited them onto the porch. My brother is, of course, still holding the gun.
In the mean time, my mom had called the police. As everyone waited for the officers, my dad proceeds to lecture the two on the sins of stealing. When we saw the police lights coming down the road, dad suggested the two young men get rid of the drugs in their pockets. Shocked he could read them so well, the two men handed it over.
The police arrived and proceeded to arrest the two men for theft. Once they were gone, my dad and brothers went to the highway, found the families, and drove them to a hotel. The next morning he went to the police department and got the two men out of jail. He asked if they had learned their lesson.
Of course, they said yes. Dad handed the men their marijuana and led them over to the dumpster... where they disposed of the drugs. He then drove them to their families, paid the hotel bill, and took them all back to their vehicle. He had, of course, filled it with gasoline. Handing the men money we did not have to give, he sent them on their way... with another lecture.
I never heard what happened to those young men, but, in my heart, I know my dad turned their lives around.
This is just one example of the many, many times I watched my dad give the shirt off his back and the food off our table to those in need.
I will honestly admit that lately I have wanted to just pack my bags and disappear. It would be so much easier, but Iím too old to disappoint my father in Heaven or my Heavenly Father.
I come from a long line of strong, independent, loving people who believed in the American dream and fought hard to preserve its integrity. When I look in the mirror at night, I want to know, without a shadow of a doubt, that my actions that day would have made my father proud.
Itís way past time to stop hurting each other. United we are strong! Divided we are weak!
Happy Fatherís Day to my husband, brothers, nephews and friends. I want to challenge all you men to stand up and be an example in your community. Be a leader, not a follower... Make your children proud.
Love you guys.