For the month of June I want to put some emphasis on fathers.
I will be posting and guest posting in honor of Father’s Day.
As I thought about trying to put this all together… I knew I needed to ask Terry to be a contributor!
Our kids went to the same school back in Tehachapi. While we were at the school Terry and his wife Laura facilitated a parenting class. The honesty in their guidance was refreshing and always coupled with great stories.
They have also left Tehachapi and now reside in Texas.
Terry is a Los Angeles Fire Fighter and the father of 5 children.
But you will soon be able to refer to him as Papa Terry… his oldest is married and now expecting! Congrats!
I am really excited for you guys to meet him and after you read this… you might wonder if we collaborated on a topic. Nope. This is the way God does things. I think I needed to read this more than anyone else. Thank you, Terry.
When Christen asked me a month or so ago, if I would do a “guest blog” for her in relation to Father’s Day I was humbled. As I thought about it I had a vision relatively soon what my content would be.
As the father of 2 biological sons (21/18) , 2 adopted sons (16/15) and an adopted daughter (16) I’ve had no shortage of stories & lessons. Coupled with the impending birth of my first grandchild in November, I was ready to “let it rain.”
Then the bottom fell out and “all hell broke loose.”
A week after Christen asked me, my mother was discovered 2 cancerous lumps in her breast. As I type this she is literally under the knife getting a mastectomy.
A week after that, my wife of 27 years, grandfather passed away.
Yesterday I was called by my aunt on my dads side & told that my grandfather was in his final hours & if I wanted to “say goodbye, you’d better do it now.”
What I thought I wanted to say pales in comparison to what I know I HAVE TO SAY now. The lessons about being a father that these 3 people taught me are monumental in shaping & molding me into the man, husband and father I am today.
I will start off with my wife’s grandfather… Mr. Earl Brooks. When you hear the cliché “he never met a stranger or had a person say a negative thing about him” Grandpa Earl’s face is posted on the Wiki-page. He was a HERO serving his country as an officer in war. He was a giant in business and an even bigger person in life. The story that sticks with me the most and has the most applicable value to this blog is this…
It was Christmas time as my wife and I were adopting our 3 younger children. We had been through all of the government/agency red tape (everything but the actual court proceedings). Grandpa Earl would usually bless us each with a card and some money. That particular Christmas he lovingly and joyfully gave “the littles” their envelopes first. They had the same gift as all of the other kids.
They did not share a bit of his DNA, they were not “officially” our children yet, but he loved them just the same. He shared with me in one of our many private moments on the golf course that “love is not biological.”
The fact that he loved them before they were “even his” is such a great lesson that exemplifies our saviors love for us! They were “adopted into the fold” and got all of the benefits of the “Fathers Blessing” through nothing of their own doing.
Along the same vein is my Grandpa Lauren Krecklow. My “biological” grandfather was killed when my dad was just 14. Grandpa Lauren married my Grandma Loretta a few years later. He took on a challenging step son in my dad and a young daughter in my Aunt Nomi. Years later I came along then my cousins Jeff and Keri Beth.
I spent many nights at G&G Krecklow’s house. We used to go to A&W root beer, get dinner, and go sit under the approach path of Ontario Airport just to watch the planes come in. Then it was back to their house by 7 so we could watch Emergency!
The only job I’ve ever wanted was to be a Firefighter for Los Angeles County. In 2001 I realized that dream and give my Grandpa Lauren a lot of the credit for stoking that “fire” in me. ( See what I did there?).
Again he took on kids that were not his own & loved them like they were. He is the only grandpa my cousins and I have ever known, so we are his. He was a great and honorable man. If my sons turn out to be half the men he was I could not be more pleased.
Now for my Mom… Diane Crosby. You may wonder “Mother’s Day is passed and you’d be only 1/2 right. My parents divorced when I was 18 months old and for the most part my father was not really involved in raising me other than maybe one weekend every couple of months.
I remember my Mom taking me out to my elementary school to play catch when I first signed up for little league. I was drafted up to Majors the next year.
When I was 10 I got REALLY into skateboarding. To make ends meet, she worked a second job as a waitress at the LA County Fair and took all of her tips and bought me my first “real” skateboard and a year membership to the local skatepark.
The summer between my junior and senior year of high school I was selected to a national wrestling team that traveled to Canada and Holland. She made sure I had all the money and things to be on that team as well.
To close this up…
Love is Not Biological
DNA is Not Important
You Do Not have to be a Man to be a Great Father!
I hope this inspires you to love bigger, better and with reckless abandon.
Here is an update on Terry and his loved ones…
Grandpa Lauren has gone home to Jesus and Terry’s Mom is doing great. All of the lymph nodes were clear. She goes in this week to get the drain removed and to discuss if she is going to need chemo or not. Then next week she meets with the reconstructive surgeon.
Will you join me in praying for Terry and his family?
Loss is hard.
Cancer is hard.
Parenting is hard.
Loss, Cancer, and Parenting are all exhausting journeys. Let’s love and support them through it.
Terry, again, thank you for sharing with us and giving us a glimpse into your life, story, and perspective.
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