Throughout Father’s Day, a scene from the movie Courageous kept playing through my head. It’s the part where one of the dads admits he thought he was doing good enough as a dad because he was doing better than his father, and he says, “I don’t want to just be good enough.”
Have you ever thought that way? Good Enough to get the job done. Good Enough to sell… to play… to buy. I’m just “Good Enough” to get by.
Of course, on the first Father’s Day without my own father, I kept playing many memories through my mind. Like when he taught me how to blow a bubble while I was sitting in the front seat of the car, or how he’d pick me and my brother up from summer camp and have that sports radio show on, “And here’s the rest of the story!”, or when he’d drop me off at the corner and tell me to run home because I’d been lazy all day!
I also remember one of my high school home track meets. I was at the starting line preparing to run the 400 meter dash when I heard his voice. I looked over and he’s just outside the track, rushing to get into the meet, and the only thing I said to him was, “Where were you?” Today, that makes me feel so guilty. I understand now how busy he truly was and how much he juggled to be at my every meet. He knew what was important to me, and he always made every effort to be there. I feel guilty for shaming him in that moment. For making him feel as though he let me down. But on the flip side, I realize how much I needed my dad. How often he was in my corner. How much I relied on him to be there for what I deemed important, and even for what I didn’t.
“Good Enough” would’ve been for my dad to just make my track meets when he could. ”Good Enough” would’ve been for him to get offended or defensive with my bratty teenage remark and say, “Well I’m here aren’t I?!” Dad wasn’t perfect, but he wasn’t simply good enough either. He was there when it mattered. Not just physically, he was invested. Not for any selfish reasons either. Dad was invested in ME.
I feel like it should read like a movie. Like there should be this big flashback scene of all the lessons he’s ever taught- all the wise words he’s ever spoken. And it should lead to this beautiful ending where the audience can feel comforted knowing that this girl has everything she needs for the rest of her life because of her dad. And to that- I say Bull Crap! I miss my dad. I want him in my corner. I still got things I’m figuring out. Things where I still need advice, or support, or a hug at the end of it all. Yes, I know how undeniably blessed I am to have the dad I had. And yes, even 5 months after his death, he is still teaching me about life, family and myself. And yes, I have SO many other people in my life who love me, support me, and are always there with their arms wide open. But nothing fills the void of my dad. Some moments I just want to scream, “Where are you?!”
But the truth is, I know where he is. I am so thankful he is There and I can’t wait to see him again. But you know what, I’m most thankful he didn’t settle to just be a “Good Enough” coach, a “Good Enough” friend, a “Good Enough” husband, and especially a “Good Enough” dad. My friend Anna sent me a message after dad died and said, “I didn’t know your dad as a coach, but I knew he was a good one. I knew your dad as your dad, and I KNOW he was really great at that!” He was great- far better than just “Good Enough!”
When I think of him, at this moment, I look at my life and ask myself, am I just being “Good Enough?” I aim to do better… and I hope you do too!
Miss you Dad- Love, Forever Your Little Girl