Pep Talk: “DNA”

June 19, 2017

“It’s Father’s Day and I’m not into thinking,” your knucklehead scribe cracked to the patient United Airlines’ employee. It was early morning. The friendly woman was checking a golf bag and suitcase for my return trip to Denver from Kansas City and a wonderful weekend of connecting with hometown family and friends.

Father’s Day 2017. I can’t help but think of my old man. Cancer and heart disease took the father of four more than a decade ago. It was hard not to think of him during the visit. His presence was certainly felt while sleeping, visiting, playing golf and commiserating with others possessing Raytown, Missouri roots. 
Those cherishing such moments gathered for a golf outing at Hillcrest Country Club to raise money for additional youth sports, arts and music opportunities for current kiddos in the 9,000-student school district. Raytown’s a proud community with a long history. It sits on KC’s eastern edge near the Truman Sports Complex where the beloved Chiefs and Royals play.
I think of my father and think of my children. Two beautiful kids maturing into healthy and mindful adults. I think of the influence my father had on my life. The admiration for overcoming obstacles. Marvin Walter McIntosh, Jr. was a survivor who, at least not to me, bemoaned life’s circumstances. The hard-working dude knew a thing or two about a comeback. It was required often. Whether from childhood poverty, lack of education, health issues, divorce and other difficult moments. Dad had little, if no, empathy for complainers.

Like all of us, “Hacker Mac” had his flaws. A hard scrabble beginning calloused the oldest son of six in ways sometimes uncomfortable for others. What the heck, beautiful Cindy Crawford has a mole on her cheek too. Nobody’s perfect, right?
I think of my father and think of his grandchildren. My children. Yes, I’m sure they’ll remember times when their old man was a pain in the ass. However, I hope and pray they remember their father like their father remembers their Grandpa: A good and respectable man who displayed unconditional love and support. Sure, there were times when my old man and I butted heads, especially in the formative years when, “You’ve got a bright athletic future, don’t do anything dumb” was lectured more than once.

Back then, it didn’t seem like Dad wanted his second-oldest son to have any fun. I now know he just had my best interests at heart. He wanted that for all his kids. Heck, the popular guy wanted that for everybody encountered. The golf enthusiast was a “glass way-more-than-half-full” kinda guy. Beloved.
In retrospect, “It’s Father’s Day and I’m not into thinking,” was a blatant lie to the congenial airline employee. On this special day, I did a lot of thinking about my kids and what their Grandpa represented. The thought process was a powerful reminder to emulate the good in those who positively influence our lives. 

Their DNA resides within. Shame on us for not infecting others. It is good!

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