Thanks - A Father's Day Letter to a Father From a Father

This was written by my dad for his father-in-law, my grandpa. He asked me to post it here.

I knew who Ray and Elizabeth Sage were. My family went to the same church as the Sage’s while growing up. I knew Jane, their youngest daughter, who was my age. The first time I remember meeting her was in a Sunday School class.

One day, I was invited to go water skiing with Ray, Jane, Jim and Gordon Meiners. I had never been water skiing before, and I thought it was a lot of fun. More importantly, I saw Jane with a new set of eyes and I was smitten. Several years later on May 25, 1974 I married the love of my life, and Jane and I have enjoyed a wonderful marriage ever since.

As I look back over the years I see how Ray and Elizabeth’s life has influenced my life and attitudes in many ways. You never know the impact your life has on others, or the legacy that is passed on from generation to generation.

A few months after Jane and I were married, my mom and dad went on a sabbatical to Hawaii. My dad drowned while snorkeling. He had never learned to swim, and even though he took a swimming class at the university before going, this was his time to go. I was just beginning to know my dad as a grown-up to grown-up. My mom and dad had taught us Christianity by what they said and by how they lived their life, but I never had my dad as an adult. In many ways having Ray as a father-in-law filled that gap as a good role model for me.

When Jane and I were dating in high school, the pastor of our church told Ray he was concerned about seeing Jane and me walking to school with our arms around each other. Ray’s response was, “Would you like us to switch churches?”

They always took interest in our family and what was going on with our kids. Every Saturday to this day they call to talk. When Jane and I started having kids, Elizabeth would spend a week with us and help out with all the things that Jane usually did, so she could recuperate quickly. Ray incorporated my business in 1995 at the usual cost to me: one necessity (That is one beer). This is how supportive Ray and Elizabeth have always been of me.

In our early years of marriage, we couldn’t afford much of a car. Our cars usually had high mileage, and were well-used. We lived in Phoenix and would make the drive back to Las Cruces once or twice a year. Ray and Elizabeth gave us three cars over the years, which helped us out tremendously.  Their generosity extended far beyond cars. When I would say something about how much they had given, Ray would say they enjoyed it. Another expression he would use is “It’s only money”.

Lastly, Ray is completely devoted to Elizabeth. I have never known anyone to have a marriage for 71 years and counting. Elizabeth says the secret is to keep breathing. Ray is kind and considerate of Elizabeth. What an example!

I can only hope the legacy of generosity, devotion to wife and family, sense of humor and following God will continue to trickle down to our children and grandchildren.

That is a true legacy.

How was your Father's Day?