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SENTRY JOURNAL » Fathers Day, John R. Carey » Fathers Day 2010: A Tribute to John R. Carey

Fathers Day 2010: A Tribute to John R. Carey

The other day while in a store I drifted pass the Fathers Day cards.  I thought to myself that Fathers Day was next Sunday and I need to get a card.  Then reality tapped me on my shoulder and snapped me back to my senses; this would be the fourth Fathers Day without my dad.  He passed away three and a half years ago.

With the exception of my father’s eulogy at his funeral I never really put anything down in words to tell people just how special my dad was in life and the influence he had on me.  You see my dad was definitely one of the good guys.  He loved his family above all else.  He with my mother started with very little and with love and perseverance built a life that was rich and full. 

My dad had a very special way with life and the people around him.  He led by example in all things he did. The quiet yet confident manner in which he displayed on a daily basis was a reassuring companion that taught me a great deal about patience and consistency.  You see my dad was as predictable as they came and this was a good thing for a teenager that could be as unpredictable as the weather.  I knew where the line was because he made it clear and I respected him too much ever to cross it.

Politically speaking my dad was a conservative that staunchly supported the military.  He believed that a strong defense kept the peace.  He was a veteran, serving in the Army in the 1950s.  He was one the first to support my decision to enter the military in a time when the norm was finding a good college or university and taking out a bunch of student loans for a college education.  He felt that military service would be good for me and how right he was.

My dad was an avid hunter and fisherman.  Although he hunted less in his twilight years, he respected nature and found a certain peace and balance with it.  He taught me to respect the land because the land was life.  My father never hunted for the sport of it, he hunted for the meat.  I recall him once telling me that if he had a choice between a big buck with a huge rack and a smaller one with a less than stellar rack he would choose the smaller, because the meat wouldn’t be as tough and would make for better eating.  He would look at me and say “You can’t eat the horns son.”  Years later I realized that the life lesson my father was trying teach me, was that bigger is not always better, and moderation is not only essential in life but actually more fulfilling.  How that simple lesson I learned years ago seems to be missing in today’s world.  So many people want it all, even if they can’t afford it.  They live beyond their means until one day it all comes crashing down.  And then they blame everything else under the sun for losing it all except themselves.  I can still feel my father standing behind me on that first day of hunting season when I was twelve telling me to keep still, try not to make so much noise, and choose wisely when you have the opportunity.  That is a life lesson that is profound and enduring; one that people could use now more than ever.  Don’t be the center of attention and choose quality over quantity.

I could sit here for a life time and tell you all about the man that my father was and it wouldn’t even scratch the surface as to what he meant to my mother and the rest of us.  My father was a simple man who believed that people made life much more complicated than it needed to be.  As long as people had God and family as their pillars, then everything else in life would fall into place.  This is how he lived.  As I look back this Fathers Day I don’t dwell on my father’s passing or how he’s missing from my life; instead I embrace and celebrate what I gained in life just by being blessed that John R. Carey was and is my dad.  The lessons he taught I carry with me each day.

And this is why I believe that no matter what else happens in my life, good or bad, God has already blessed me more than I deserve.

Thank you dad.

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Comments
  • Teresa June 20, 2010 at 9:31 AM

    That was both inspirational and beautiful. God Bless you on this Father's Day.

  • John Carey June 20, 2010 at 9:59 AM

    Thanks Teresa.

  • Gorges Smythe June 20, 2010 at 12:48 PM

    John, those of us who are blessed with good parents sometimes don't know how blessed we are are until we see others that grew up without that great blessing. The influence of one good man or woman (or one bad one) can go on for generations. Like you, I had a good dad. It's been nearly 26 years now and I still miss him. I'll see him again someday, though, so my hurt isn't a forever thing. God bless you for a wonderful post.

  • John Carey June 20, 2010 at 1:07 PM

    Thanks for the kind words GS. I have been truly blessed in this life.

  • WomanHonorThyself June 20, 2010 at 1:52 PM

    lovely tribute..God bless~!

  • John Carey June 20, 2010 at 1:55 PM

    Thank you and God Bless.

  • Betty June 20, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    John,
    That was amazing! It choked me up. I did the same thing. I went to buy Ivan a card and out of habit reached for one for my dad. I stood staring at the words as my eyes filled up with tears. He has been gone 5 yrs, yet I don't feel like he's not still part of my life. His lessons, strength and laughter behind sparkling blue eyes will always be a part of me; how awesome are the things we leave behind with those we love. Huggggs

  • John Carey June 20, 2010 at 8:59 PM

    That was beautiful Betty. Thank you so much for the kind words. Hugs back.

  • Matt June 21, 2010 at 11:18 PM

    I missed this on Sunday. I don't know how. I did spend much of Father's Day thinking of my father, who passed away in 2003. Your post made me think of the many positive things that my father had taught me, and how those things still impact me every day.

    Those who say that fathers are not important have no idea what they are talking about. They do so much in terms of teaching, and leading by example. Those are things that I consider as a parent.

  • John Carey June 21, 2010 at 11:21 PM

    They leave their impression on us Matt in a way that forever remains. Thanks for reading this my friend.