Willow Wonderings

Simplicity and Father’s Day

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My dad has always been the most famous person I know.


My dad receiving an award placing him into the Maryland Athletic Trainers’ Hall of Fame

Whether we were walking the streets of Westminster or San Francisco, my dad would find someone he knew. Or, more probably, someone would find him! With great excitement and laughter, my dad always knew how to brighten the days of those he meets. This made him one of the most popular members of my high school staff; his room was always filled with a flock of young athletes after school. Now, I am slightly embarrassed to say my dad gets more comments on Facebook posts than my sister and I do combined – a testament to his “like”ability.

In countless ways, my dad follows after his father, my grandfather, Doctor Dan Welliver; both “doctors” (though my dad is really an athletic trainer – but don’t tell his athletes that), both strong believers that “laughter is the best medicine,” both incredibly hard workers.

What makes my dad unique, however, is his starlit personality. I can only begin to capture it in the simple, everyday actions that complement his attitude of strength. The way my dad claps his hands together like symbols to accent his laughter, for example, or the way he lifts his arms in triumph when returning from a daily run. These signature mannerisms, noticed after years of observation, have been stitched together in my mind to define my father.

When I moved away, I was shocked to realize no one around me knew my dad. I no longer could identify myself as “Doc’s daughter” to my peers, and no one found the irony in my “I heart my athletic trainer” shirt! In describing my dad to new friends, I began to notice the habits and ways of speech that I had inherited from him. First, I realized my dad nurtured my value for health. In addition to massage therapy and athletic training, he works hard to heal society through preventative medicine with LifePlus, a company that produces all natural nutritional supplements. Most prominently, I realized I had a genetic and learned affinity for intellectual pursuits; my dad had me reciting the names of each Ivy League school by age eight. My dad raised me not to merely hope, try, or quit – he raised me to persevere, to achieve in what I pursued.

Today, on Father’s Day, I realized one additional virtue shared by my father and me – simplicity. Life at my dad’s house (on weekends) is centered upon rest and family conversation. So today, while I spent the day walking to church, reading, cooking, and resting, I enjoyed the moments in between when I could simply be with my dad. He teaches me through his presence, his wit, and his character – and I am so grateful to have him as a role model in my life.

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