Sunday, June 15, 2014

A Few Words about Dad

My mom asked her three sons to write a little something about our father to be shared at their church.  This simple small request turned into an awesome project that we probably should have done years ago.  With that said enjoy three very different takes on describing how great Don Paul Gray is.  Thanks to Donna Gray for giving us this opportunity.  

From Eric Gray (because it's my blog and mine is the shortest)

My Dad gave me a lot, mostly good.  He gave me his his loud booming voice, a heart for people, desire to lead, his receding hairline, a slight addiction to Diet Pepsi, and the need to do things "my way".

As a kid, my Dad and I would do different projects together, and I remember at times telling my Dad another way to do something and he would always say, "Son lets use my brain".  I find myself at times saying similar things to my friends, on the basketball court or even at work.  

Through it all my Dad is one of my heros.  Over 10 years ago I was sitting in church and I heard a story that changed the way I looked at my Dad and marriage.  It's a long story about my Dad standing by my Mom during some difficult physical times.  The way I remember it me, Dad, and my two brothers left Mom temporarily at a hospital in Texas with her parents.  The hope was she could get better under their constant supervision.  About half way through the trip back to Louisiana Dad pulled what he calls a "U-lee" or u-turn and headed back to Texas to get his wife.  He walked into the hospital and took his bride back home with her family.  This was a story I never heard until my early 20s and it shook me to my core.  It showed me so much what it means to make a covenant commitment, stand the line through the tough times and tell the devil he will not win this fight.  He is a strong man of God who does not waver and a wonderful father.  I hope I can be that for my family.

From Ryan Gray (because he is the middle son)

Some of you have met me before on my last visit to Quinlan but if I missed you, hello I am Ryan Harper Gray. I am the middle son. That’s rights the middle son. The one they all worry about but don't worry folk, because I am the most fun.

Now let me tell you what my extensive research as I scoured the internet for information on this strange holiday we call Father's Day produced. According to Wikipedia Father's Day was inaugurated in the United States in the early 20th century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting. Alright, there you go… …right off the bat. This made up holiday was created after Mother's Day. Now what is up with that huh? Maybe some mothers felt a little guilty back in the day. With that said, this gives us a little insight into Father's day and why I personally love it. On Father's day there is no pressure. It's like a holiday from stress. It should be called “No nagging day” because Dads really do hate nagging. And gift… forget about it! Get him whatever, make him something, just please, please don't make him pay for it to. I know my dad must have paid for any gift he received when I was growing up because he was my only source of money. 

So here we are, on the best holiday of the year, FATHER'S DAY. It's really a day for all of us because Dads don't ask for much. So I will keep my compliments brief for mine.

Dad we disagree on almost everything, yet we have more fun talking to each other, than almost any Father and son I've met. With that said, I still wish you were a democrat and Jesus would have wanted it to. Ok, I don't know about that last part but he definitely wasn't a republican… am I right people? 

Back to Dad, You did it! You raised 3 boys and folks we weren't always easy. You showed me on a daily bases what unconditional love was. Not by telling me, you love me, all the time but by your works. You are a great Father, a great husband, and a friend. We are all lucky to know you, because every day you wake up thinking first about what can I, Donny Paul, give. You are not a taker you are a giver.

Unless we are talking about pie. You will definitely eat all the pie. And while I am on it people… stop giving this man pie! I mean does he look hungry. Ayways, sorry back to my Dad. It's Father's day and you don't ask for much so here it is dad… You did good and I love you.

From Brent Gray (because it's the longest)

Hello Quinlan First Assembly! My mom asked me to provide her a few words about my dad to read for the church for Fathers Day. So here they are:


Okay, seriously. Despite my best efforts, I found it impossible to say only a few words about my dad. I desperately hope though I do not drone on and on, drawing on some arbitrary or insignificant experience or anecdote, seemingly forgetting about the clock, especially that magical time on Sunday that we all look forward to each week like a six-year-old looking forward to Christmas morning – that time being 12:00.

But, alas – I'm sure your pastor doesn't do this, so you wouldn't know what I'm talking about…

In all seriousness. It really is impossible to summarize in a few words what my dad means to me. To summarize that would be to summarize the 41 years I've had on this earth, because not a day of the 41 years has gone by without my dad having a significant and notable impact on my life.

And, frankly, I think I'm only now, in the last few years, beginning to realize the significance of the roll my dad has played in my life. Not surprisingly, it is my own children that demonstrate this so effectively to me.

I have a seven-year-old daughter, Sadie, and a two-year-old son, Jack. The lessons I've learned in the last seven years about myself, my family, and my God, and the enormous responsibilities I owe to each cannot be overstated. Perhaps this is best demonstrated with a simple example. Sometimes in life, God uses the most simple, mundane moments in life to reveal the most profound things.

Our two-year-old Jack loves to be outside. So my wife Tammy and I spend a lot of time just hanging out with Jack in the backyard. Our backyard is heavily wooded with mature trees and shrubs. A few weeks ago Jack and I were in the backyard. I didn't even really know he was watching me. For no particular reason I picked up a stick off the ground and just hit it against a tree and walked away. Probably about five or 10 seconds later, out of the corner my eye, I see Jack holding a stick and walk up to the same tree and hit the tree and walk away the same way I did.

I literally had to fight back tears. For whatever reason, in that moment, I got it. And it struck me to the core. I have the beautiful, wonderful, and absolutely frightening responsibility to set an example for my children. Physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, for them, I am the example of what a man should be.

Now, what does all that have to do with my dad? In a word – Everything. Because I've had the incredible honor to have had my dad, Don Paul Gray, the picture of integrity, loyalty and perseverance, as the example for me of what a man should be. I can only hope and pray that I can impart these same traits to my own children.

So – on this Father's Day, June 15, 2014, I salute you dad. Thank you.

Your son

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