I miss my daddy today especially, this fifth Father’s Day without him. At the same time, I’m so grateful that he was gone before last summer with my falls and medical stays. He wouldn’t have understood and would have tried to help, even though he was forgetting things and had falls of his own. I know he is safe in heaven with God and with Mommy and I don’t have to feel guilty about focusing on my own health problems.
My father was a People Person. He loved meeting and talking with people and never came away from a conversation without having learned some important part of the other guy’s life story. He knew how they ticked, what motivated them, what buttons to push to make his case, and how to get them involved. He was a born salesman and was in the right kind of job for his skill set, selling water meters to cities and town. His customers trusted him and when he changed companies, he brought them along because their loyalty was to him, not the company he represented.
Daddy made you feel important by the way he listened to you. He genuinely wanted to know what you thought, and he listened to children just as intently as he listened to adults. Sometimes I think he loved the little ones more, because they were more genuine and interesting – and they loved him. I remember him at a Christmas party in Houston years ago, the lone adult in a room filled with children who were climbing on him and telling him all sorts of confidences as though he was Santa.
Growing up, Daddy spent more time with my brother than with me because, well, let’s face it, they did Boy Things together such as Little League and other sports. I spent more time with Mom. But I cherished the times I had with Daddy, who traveled a lot for business. We shared a tendency to be overweight and a dislike of Mom’s no-dessert policy, and sometimes after dinner he’d invite me to go out for a walk with him. We’d march to a military cadence count through the tree-lined streets, with me talking about my day while I got exercise – and we’d end up at the ice cream store getting mint chocolate chip cones that we’d promise not to tell Mom about.
Daddy knew as a small boy that he wanted more from his life than what he saw in his small North Carolina town – and more than what his father did. He knew the way to do that was through education, and got a football scholarship to Duke University; he never looked back, especially after meeting and marrying my mom, who came from a different kind of background. Daddy married up and he knew it, and he loved my mother every day of his life. They had such a tight bond that we never saw or heard them fight, except that one time about PTA budget that really wasn’t a fight at all.
I think Daddy was comfortable in his own skin. He knew where he came from and where he wanted to go, and had a plan to accomplish his goals. He could think and plan for long-term success and was a team with Mom in setting and reaching their shared goals as a couple and as a family. He loved having money because he grew up dirt poor and knew what problems money could ease. He supported his mother for twenty years after his father died, and was generous in supporting family and charities throughout his life.
Bill Myers was a good man and a wonderful father. I always knew that he loved and supported me, and was as proud of my accomplishments as of his own. I loved him right back and am glad I was able to spend those last few years with him.
Happy Father’s Day, Daddy.