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Wright Words: My dad wasn't extraordinary

Published: Sunday, June 22 2014 9:30 p.m. MDT

Every day, no matter what the calendar or card shops tell me, I think of my late dad and just how unextraordinary he really was.

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Editor's note: This was previously published on jasonfwright.com.

This Father's Day might be a fading memory, but for someone with a dad like mine, I'm already thinking about Father's Day 2015. Because every day, no matter what the calendar or card shops tell me, I think of my late dad and just how ordinary he was.

He didn’t serve in the military. He didn’t start a billion-dollar company. He didn’t graduate from Harvard.

He didn’t vanquish any great obstacle, win some nationally prestigious award or write an inspiring comeback story — the kind with heart-tugging waves of music that rise and fall like ocean tides.

My dad wasn’t extraordinary.

There wasn’t alcohol to overcome, because he’d never had a sip. No drug problem because the notion of experimentation never occurred to him.

He never appeared on the news. Never met the president. Never led a crusade against crushing social injustice.

My dad was ordinary.

He made our home an ordinary place with little drama, anger or strife.

He was at ball games in his ordinary spot. Church in his ordinary pew. He even made attending every out-of-tune, mundane middle-school concert an ordinary act.

When I’ve looked into the crowd at every ordinary moment of my ordinary life, whether the room held two or 2,000, he was there.

My dad was ordinary.

He treated his children how I imagined every father did. A father’s unconditional love? Ordinary.

A hug after a rough day at school? Ordinary.

Telling me he loved me so often, in so many scenarios and in countless circumstances that no single time stands out? Ordinary.

None of my ideas were ever too big and nothing was impossible. No dream was out of reach, no matter how short my naive, childhood arms. Because somehow, Dad was always there to make up the difference.

What a treasure that his love wasn’t extraordinary.

What an eternal blessing that his presence in my life, milestones large and small, wasn’t extraordinary.

What a miracle that when I didn’t believe in myself, when I doubted my goodness, when I questioned God’s plan, my father’s faith in me was so remarkably ordinary.

Yes, my dad was ordinary.

Though he’s left this world for another, I hope he knows how much I love and miss him. And I hope he knows how grateful I am that in every wonderful way, he was ordinary.

Odd, isn't it? It's my turn now, and my only hope is to be half the ordinary man he was.

Jason Wright is a New York Times best-selling author of 10 books, including "Christmas Jars" and "The Wednesday Letters." Learn more at jasonfwright.com, or connect on Facebook at facebook.com/jfwbooks or by email at jwright@deseretnews.com

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