Saturday, June 16, 2012

Jack Ingram - Measure Of A Man

It's not the years, it's the miles - especially the ones over unpaved roads.  The last ten years haven't (mostly) been paved for me, particularly with Dad and #1 Son.  I have a streak of foolish pride in me, not to mention more than my share of sarcasm. I'm certain that this comes as a surprise for regular readers.

For years, Dad and I wouldn't talk.  I had a lot of anger in me then, and it came out in strange ways.  Bad ways.  Sorry, I won't talk about what happened with #1 Son, but that he came out right side up didn't have much to do with me.

This Father's Day weekend, I think on both of those.

Growing up, I knew that my Dad was a great father.  He set an example: he was a fine provider, although we didn't grow up with a lot.  Not wealthy, not weepin'.  He was someone who I could look up to, never doubting for an instant that we were everything to him.  He adored Mom.  And so it was a terrible shock to find out, in my forties, that he was made of flesh and blood.  For a while, I couldn't forgive him for that.

I like to think of myself as a smart guy, and I must confess that it's very nice indeed when someone refers to me as a "wickid smaht bahstid".  But I sure was an idiot when it mattered.  Like Dad, I found - perhaps for the first time - that I, too, was mere flesh and blood.  Full of Foolish Pride, and driving myself into a ditch.

I'll swallow my pride if you will.

This song is painful for me to listen to, as it sings those lost years back to me.  But my Dad was a great father, and what I got from him is a lesson on Grace.  He was a better man than I, swallowing his pride when I was in the wrong.  I look at my sons, and that's a lesson that I hope I won't need to give them.

But if I do, I've learned that lesson.  Thanks, Dad.  You were a great father.

Measure Of A Man (songwriters: Radney Foster, Gordie Sampson)
When I was fifteen, I left home young
Tore up the tracks and then some
Me and my dad didn't see eye to eye
I never took to him, he never took the time
Bullet proof, more than tough
Smarter than he ever was

Well I burned those wheels down the highway
And I learned what I learned the hard way
Do the best you can do, love many, trust few
Work hard for the money in your hands
That's the measure of a man
Yeah the measure of a man

Anger burns, love cools it down
Pretty young woman turned my head around
The world through her eyes looked so different
She lives on faith, she looks for forgiveness
Fool proof, it ain't easy
I need her, she needs me

She stole my heart on this highway
She taught me to love through the hard days
Yeah she's cool when I'm not, she's as steady as a rock
She's as solid as the ring on my hand
That's the measure of a man
Yeah the measure of a man

Last night she handed me a son of my own
It killed me to do it, but I picked up the phone

Hey dad I burned ten years down this highway
And I learned what I learned the hard way
Truth is I need you, we'll cry if we need to
And I'll swallow my pride if you can
That's the measure of a man
Oh yeah, the measure of a man
Anger burns, love cools it down.  Dad set an example.  I pray that his lesson on Grace is one that I can give to my sons, when they need it. 

Happy Father's Day to everyone who is a father, or who had one.  I hope that the spirit of the day lets you appreciate that flesh and blood, and what it can do when it has to.


CoolChange©© said...

My sweet better half must be dusting again. I've got something in my eyes. Think I'll go call my dad.

Six said...

Happy Father's Day BP. Your sons are lucky and your dad would be proud.

Borepatch said...

Thanks, guys. Happy Father's Day to you.

instinct said...

Same to you BP.

I had the same relationship with my dad. For years we were like oil and water. I know now it was because he just didn't understand me and I didn't understand him.

Now I'm back home with a son of my own and very glad we patched it up. I want my boy to know how great of a man his grandfather is.