Eddyville, KY

Opinion

Time is the biggest gift you can give

Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - Updated: 2:13 PM
By Jody Norwood

Cruising around in the Nissan a few weeks ago, I introduced my seven-year-old daughter to Johnny Cash’s A Boy Named Sue.

While she didn’t find it as interesting as I usually do, the song did remind me about the gifts our fathers give us.

It seemed an appropriate time of year to think about it.

For me, my dad got pretty close to naming me Sue, but he never “run and hid” as the song goes.

And I never had to look for him dealing cards in Gatlinburg.

But he did work a lot.

Like many of those from this area, my dad spent about half his life in the chemical plants in nearby Calvert City. 

Working 16 hour days didn’t leave a lot of time to raise two sons, but that’s what makes his gift a special one, because he gave what he had the least of: his time.

I’ve written about it before, but my mother has a card — he kind of hand scribbled one with disproportionate stick figures and oddly shaped objects — collecting dust in a cedar chest.

It should be on display in a gallery somewhere considering the artist, but the subject matter probably prohibited that back then. 

On the card, which is about 30 years old now, I’d drawn my father on his motorcycle, which had caught fire.

It also included a word bubble with something of the four letter variety that many of us would exclaim if we suddenly looked like a live version of Ghost Rider.

But the expletive wasn’t the important part.

The part to catch was that I was around while he was setting his stuff on fire (although, in fairness, he was a much better mechanic than this article might lead a reader to believe).

Even when he obviously wasn’t having a good day, I was around. 

That’s what he gave us, that little free time he had that built memories.

I don’t recall him ever saying he was too busy or complaining about being too tired after getting home from a long shift.

Whether it was working in the garage at home or a trip to grab something to eat, he always made sure we knew we were welcome to come along.

As parents we’re not always able to give the gifts we want to, that new gaming system or whatever toy is trending that year.

But that’s not usually the gifts that children need.

Sometimes it’s as simple as taking some time out of every day you can.

It costs a lot more, but it’s capital well spent.

 

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