Fathers Day (The Juice Man)
With Father’s Day just 12 days away, I can’t help but think of my dad. It’s also funny how since I have been married, my father in-law pops in my head also as my other dad. My father in-law has been gone 3 years now and my dad has been over 40 now. I have become the focus of “The Dad” now. The name Grampa has entered my persona also around 7 years ago. Time goes so fast!
Whether your dad is here still or not, how could we ever forget the man in our lives that helped in the shaping of who we have become. My dad owned his own business also. He sold homemade juice door to door, hence the name “The Juice Man.” I had the privilege of working with my dad the last two years of his life. I was 11 that first summer working with him and remember pleading with my mother that I wanted to stay home and play with my friends instead of working. She would say that I had to go help my father so that was that. Looking back at those pleadings, I think God had his hands in this decision, maybe knowing that my dad had only 2 more years left and I had to be with him to learn the things that I needed before I hit those crazy years of puberty. I thank God that he gave me the chance.
My dad worked 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday delivering juice to homeowners and Bar establishments. He was up at 6 AM every morning and came home around 7 every night. It was a long day for an 11 year old and I was happy that I only had to do 3-4 of those days each week for the summer. My dad was a very outgoing man who pretty much always had a smile on his face. I don’t think I ever came across anyone who ever had a bad thing to say about him. All I have ever heard then and now is; “what a nice man your father was.” To me back then, what I always saw in my dad was a skinny tough Marine who had a hand of steel and was a disciplinarian like no other. I had no clue what was in store for me then but looking back, my lesson for the man I was to become was being shaped by the “Juice Man.” The man I saw at home was different out in the real world. A good lesson for all of us is that our dad’s are regular people also, not just the dad at home.
What makes a man a good father? I guess you could have many different answers to that question from many asked it. To me it was his dedication to his family and the wonderful balance of his love and discipline. You could never, ever stay in the midst of parents and adult company at the kitchen table. You were always told to go in the other room and if you dared to say; “but”, he would then tell you to go to bed. There was one way and that was his and kids could never sit and listen to adult conversations. But then on the other end was the man who would carry you to bed when you were sick or sat there and bragged to others on how good I was at a particular sport, even though he had never see me play a pick up game in his life. That’s true and honest love that could never be faked.
No matter what the stories are about our dads, we will always hold them close to our hearts. I had a wonderful father, even though it was only a short time and I was lucky to get a kind and caring father in-law. What I learned in the 13 years I had and the 2 years working with my dad was that it doesn’t matter who you become in life, what matters most is who you are in your heart and in your mind. I became the “Cabinet man” in my life’s work, helping and caring for my clients as much as my dad did for his. I can only hope that my children and grandchildren hold me as close to their heart now and long after I am gone as I do for “The Juice Man” that I was so lucky to be the son of. Life can be short so if you do have your father around still, spend as much time as you can making up as many stories that you can. Because not only will you enjoy it, you will also learn something more about yourself that you got from him and share it with the world around you.
I want to wish my dad in heaven a very Happy Fathers Day this year. You were always our hero and the man who made things happen. Thank you for what you gave us and look forward to the days when we are together again. I love you dad!!
Happy Fathers Day everyone!! Enjoy it!! Tim Holick
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