Earlier this year, Bishop Earl Boyea’s mother, Helen, died at the age of 92. May she rest in peace. As we approach Father’s Day this weekend, Bishop Boyea now reflects upon his own father, Earl, as he adjusts to widowhood after 72 years of marriage. Bishop Boyea writes:
While mom was very ordered about everything, including her quilts, dad has always had the vivid imagination. He can see a turtle climbing up a tree when it is simply a burl! Perhaps he is the source of the artistic sense of many in our family. Nonetheless, on a walk in the woods you will be presented with many critters which are not really there!
Still, dad has always been down to earth. He taught all of us to change our oil and tires and basic car maintenance. We are all able to do basic repairs around the home. If we don’t know how, we ask someone and then do it ourselves. It seemed that nearly every evening dad was working on the clothes washer; after so many cycles, it needed constant attention. We had to know the names of tools because when asked, should we hand him the wrong one, his ire was up.
I never cared much for sitting in a boat fishing. Perhaps I was too antsy for that. Yet, those blue gills were not obtained in any other way. My favorite was the few times dad took us stream fishing and we walked in the swollen rivers. That kind of movement entertained me at least until the waders were filled with water, cold water. Maybe, that is why it ended up only being a few times.
Dad is a reader and he passed that on to the rest of us. His incredible gift is able to be able to tune out all the chaos around him and focus on his latest western. Most of that attentiveness is now given to reruns on the TV.
Gardening, being raised on a farm, was tilled into him and I am sure he will plant some tomatoes this year in addition to his growing garlic. We nearly always had dogs, even those which would snip at us. They never did so to dad or mom, for that matter. Our favorite was Socs, short for Socrates, even though that beagle was a she! His rabbits were his worst investment. Hoping to serve as a good meal, they were all named by us and thus lost their appeal as a main course.
But dad’s greatest gift was his sacrificial and generous service of his wife and family as he worked hard to support us, encouraged our independence, created wonderful camping trips, acted as the “unbiased” pitcher at our neighborhood baseball games, and without fail took us to Church every Sunday.
Never very expressive about his emotions, it was we his sons and daughters who taught him to say, “I love you,” because we kept saying it to him.
So, dad, Happy Father’s Day, and I love you. I can hear it being returned!