Next weekend is the celebration of a man we call Daddy.
For many, that means remembering the strong and loving arms of a Dad who is gone on before us.
Daddy moments of the past can pop up at any time, causing a smile and a tear. For me, I am thankful for a strong, gruff and gentle man named King Doshier. My father has been gone since 1990 but his love still lingers.
For many of you it's the same. Yet God is so faithful to bring into our lives others we look up to and can respect for their wisdom and kindness.
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For me, there have been a number of "Dads" I have come to admire with all my heart. One of those fellows was a man by the name of Dawson Curtis.
Curtis was a giant of a fellow who sported suspenders and a sturdy presence. He'd shoot you straight with wisdom, integrity and a thoughtful word of encouragement. You could simply trust him and his word.
He was a leader and a teacher. Like I said before, he stood head and shoulders above most. I can just imagine what a comforting, strong presence he was in the halls of the schools he led as principal. There have been many stories shared of how he guided the teachers, had their backs and had the students' best interests at heart.
I was blessed to spend Wednesday mornings in prayer and great conversation with Dawson and his precious wife, Shirley. There was always a "story" to be retold. Those stories were proof "laughter does do good like a medicine."
They also kind of took me under their wing during some very difficult days in my life. For instance, with humor and a twinkle in the eye, they decided this ol' gal needed to plant a garden and grow things. They snuck in my backyard and seeded the plot and then proceeded to get locked in the backyard. Now, that's a friend.
What really got locked in was Curtis' wisdom was trustworthy. That's why when I was going to remarry after Lowry died, I asked for his thoughts and his blessing. That's how important this man was to me; he planted more than a garden. God gave me a man who'd stand in for my daddy when I was making one of the most important decisions of my life.
That'll preach. I pray for the men who come alongside others and take up the task of being wise anchors. I thank God for the Dawson Curtises of the world who fulfill the promise found in Scripture, "I will set the lonely in families."
Curtis went home to be with the Lord recently. There's a gigantic hole for many who have many memories this Father's Day. I am especially grateful for having known him and others like him. I pray you have a Dawson in your lives. Thank you, Father God, for daddies and mentors who become like dads.
Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.