Dear Dad

Over the last decade, one of the things that we’ve talked about the most is to “remember who you are.” We are first and more foremost and redeemed children of God. 

I am also you. Especially being Father’s Day, I just wanted to take a moment to celebrate that. I love it when I’m in Michigan, and I get randomly stopped by someone asking if I’m your son because we look so much alike. Beyond the genetic apple not falling far from the tree, you pour so much into me and each of us, in a way that points us back to that identity in Christ. 

One of my fondest memories from our house on Jones Street is coming down from our bedrooms in the morning and seeing you read your Bible at the kitchen table. I was so young, but I was watching. That made an indelible impression on me about your relationship with Jesus Christ. Thank you for being that example. 

Thank you for your time and the unconditional love that comes with that. I cherish the times when I went to work with you in downtown Lansing, went to MSU sporting events, Promise Keepers events, caramel cappuccinos. Later in life, it became trips to Urban Chestnut or Horrocks for beers or now beers at your condo.

Thank you for three or four years ago, suggesting that we set aside time every week to pray. I cherish the time we have together with Adam and Ken to connect, laugh, and pray for each other over Zoom. It’s become a highlight of my week and love that we’ve stayed consistent with it.

I think it’s so appropriate that your blog is called Daily Grit. (Still blows my mind that you’ve been blogging since 2004, since way before it was cool). I know the name was an homage to a newspaper that you read back when you were a kid. Wikipedia talks about grit as “perseverance of effort promotes the overcoming of obstacles or challenges.”  

Thank you for having grit. There are so many challenges and obstacles that you’ve faced. You’ve been through the abandonment of your father. There was losing jobs and having to figure out Plan B. Most recently; it’s been going through having progressive supranuclear palsy. You have and continue to face it all without losing sight of finding your hope in Christ. 

Now, as an adult with a lot more responsibilities, life has brought me all kinds of opportunities. But the hills of life have only gotten more prominent too. Thank you for teaching me how to persevere amidst challenges, while keeping my eyes on God.

I’ve become a big fan of the singer/actor Ben Platt. The bridge of one of his songs goes, “I have a hero whenever I need one. I just look up to you and I see one. I’m a man ’cause you taught me to be one.”

Dad, you’re my hero. I love you. Happy Father’s Day! 

Talk on FaceTime in a little bit.

-justin.