October, Dad, and Tee Time


October. There are so many things I enjoy during this month. The smell of Fall as it gently blows in, the brilliant reds and yellows of the changing leaves, and the anniversary of the day I married the most extraordinary woman on the planet. Unfortunately, there is also a devastating event that occurred during the month of October, and it will always overshadow my life. My Dad passed away in 2008, and it was the most horrific experience of which I have ever had to face.

Growing up, my dad never had a father who demonstrated love. Despite that, he was the most remarkable father to me and, for a while, my step brother. He was kind, loving, and I never had any doubts about his love for me. We played golf once a week. Those days will always be a part of me, and something that I can look back on and smile. Since he passed away, I’ve only journeyed out to the course maybe two or three times. I completely lost my passion for the game. I loved golf, but I believe it was the time shared between father and son that I enjoyed the most.

I wrote Tee Tim for Dad, and I just want to share it with you now.

SPACE

Tee Time

A gentle breeze tickles my face as I stare, motionless, at the expanse of green before me. The white ball gleams in the reflection of a towering sun, each dimple highlighted with a shadow of the one beside it. The light brown tee stands tall, cupped with a gentle curve, gracefully providing the stage.

Particles of dust playfully frolic in the beams of light descending from the glorious sky, blue and cloudless. An eagle soars above, its watchful eye scanning the horizon. The swaying trees whisper their encouragement as I slowly take a deep breath. The smell of freshly cut grass envelopes me as I clear my mind of everything but this moment.

The face of my driver nestles against the Titleist in hushed expectation.

I slowly pull the club back and then forcefully swing it toward its target. Perfect contact is indicated by the solid tink as the ball rockets off its pedestal and soars toward the heavens. As if in slow motion, the cracked tee tumbles end over end in front of me. With one hand above my eyes, I follow the path of the ball, watching it drop to the fairway, rolling to a stop a couple hundred yards away.

“Nice shot.”

I turn to my right and smile at Dad. He stands there, a silhouette against the brightness of the burning sun. He gives me a meaningful high five as we climb back into the golf cart. With one hand resting on my knee, Dad delightfully relives the tee shot, amazed at the distance I achieved.

I laugh, feigning a nonchalant air as if I expected to achieve such a magnificent shot all along. Not wanting to admit the possibility of dumb luck being involved in any way, I quickly change the conversation to comment on Dad’s remarkable performance the hole before. That sparks a memory of the time he fell while swinging his club and we laugh some more.

Green by green we make our way through the course, faring better on some holes than others. We play in the spirit of fun, pushing aside the intricacies of golf like focused concentration and steeled putting nerves. This time between two best friends is sacred, a priceless piece of life forever stored in the most secret places of my heart.

Dad and I play golf every Monday, it has become our tradition, but strangely, this particular day feels different. As the sun begins its slow demise from the sky to the point where the earth seems to reach up and touch the heavens, something else fades from my soul. It’s a feeling I can’t seem to shake off as we walk up to the tee box on the last hole of the day.

“Go ahead, Son. Finish it off right.”

The hand on my shoulder is an everlasting reminder that I will always have the love of my father with me wherever I go. Through the years, he has left a lasting impression on who I am now, and the person I will eventually become. His strength, integrity and gentle spirit are character traits that any son should model his life after.

Not only have we learned how to play the game of golf together, we’ve learned what it means to become friends, best friends in every sense of the word. The rolling fairways and lush greens of the golf course are similar to the trials and obstacles we face in our daily walk through life.

We’ve learned to take our best shot, persevere through the hardships of life, and continue playing until we reach the cup. On a golf course, we battle the wind, dig our way out of sand traps, and hit around trees that block our path. In life we struggle through pain, pull ourselves up from the shackles grief and despair and face challenges that stand in the way of our dreams.

I finish off the last hole and return the cart to the clubhouse. On the back there sits only one set of golf clubs. I secure the bag on my shoulder and slowly walk to my car. Like rain trailing down a weathered window pane, tears trickle down my face. I miss my Dad more than I could ever express in words, but I believe without a doubt he is with me at all times.

I know that right now, somewhere up in Heaven, there is a book, lettered in gold and trimmed in stunning designs of a realm that isn’t confined by physical strings. It contains a multitude of names penned by the wondrous hand of God, each one written with a loving care that only a Father can understand.

I can see Dad now as he puts both our names on a page, reserving yet another tee time for a father and son to share, a tee time in eternity.

SPACE

In loving memory of my Dad, Frank Martin 1938-2008

SPACE

Next week: Everyone Has a Story. Meet Bria

Make sure to follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook by clicking on the appropriate link to the right. Thanks!

Have a blessed day,

SPACE
Chris



Categories: General

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129 replies

  1. Hi Chris, thank you for reading my Spilled My Beans blog. I also have a passion for writing. I have started my first novel. Fiction. I will keep an eye open to your blog for any advise you might have to offer. As for your post, I was touched by your words. My father died when I was only two in a car crash by the hands of a drunk driver. My entire family could have died that night, but God spared my brother, my mom and me. I wish I could speak of times with my dad as you had with him. Cherished memories. Know that he is in your every swing, your every , stance and your every smile as you remember him while you play.

    Thank you for following my blog!

  2. Hi, Chris. I originally stopped by to say thank you for following my blog. Of course, you have so much to offer on here that I had to take some time and at least START reading. You are good at the craft, and I especially liked this piece. I’m so grateful that I have this same kind of relationship with my own dad. However, my enjoyment did not come from that fact — but from your expert handling of the words. Your descriptions are pin-point-perfect. I see and feel, and smell exactly what you wanted me to, without having to meet you half-way. And your novellas sound like real ‘page-turners.’ I’ll definitely try to make time to read more from you. Keep up the great work.

  3. Very well written and touching. I miss my dad more than anything in the world, but the memories like you describe live on forever and should be shared. There is nothing like the the love from a father for his children. Sometimes it can be easily overlook and taken for granted during childhood, but in time we recognize the strength and passion that dads have for their children. Enjoy every moment, because before you know it all we are left with are the memories and the longing for the moment when we are reunited in heaven, of which you so eloquently described in this post. Thank you! May the memory of your Dad live on forever. God Bless!

  4. wonderful tribute to your father. when I first saw the title I thought “wow! another person who likes fall as much as I do, then you tied golf and your father to the story. that’s when i realized there can be other reasons besides the normal one for why someone could not like fall; like the loss of a loved one. My father is 86 and still going strong, he also grew up with a father who didn’t show much if any affection, but was able to change when he saw how his children showed love and affection to their children. He actually made an announcement to all of us that he was sorry for not showing us earlier in life how much he loved us. it sounds like you always had that relationship with your father and it’s a cherished memory and example that you can pass on to your children and grandchildren. God bless you and your work especially with youth.

  5. i lost my dad 6/21/09 then lost my job of 12yrs 9/09. could have been due to the stress of the last year of his life, struggling with cancer, tailbone fracture, stroke, then death after a short time in hospice care.
    praying for you as you pray for me.
    -mike

  6. Such a touching tribute. I lost my grandmother earlier this year in a very tragic way and wasn’t able to say “good-bye”. Even so, I try to take comfort in knowing I will see her again one day.

  7. I’m sorry about the loss of your Dad. Mine died in October of 2009. It’s a very painful thing. What a wonderful tribute to your father. God bless you!

  8. Thanks for visiting my blog. Loved this. So poetic. Each para complete in itself. Your dad would be very proud.

  9. Saying good morning through my damp tissue, thank you for following my Blog. I’m sorry you’ve lost your dear dad. I do know the feeling of missing a dad you loved so much. It’s a blessing to know the love of a kind and gentle dad and it makes memories like yours so special. Thank’s for sharing your thoughts.

  10. Thanks Chris for checking out my blog as it has allowed me to stumble upon yours and shed a few tears while reading Tee Time. I also cannot express into words how much I miss my dad and long for his smile, kindness and love.

  11. I lost my dad in October 2009. He was 70. He died suddenly of a massive heart attack, 5km’s into a 110 Kilometre cycle race. He died doing what he loved best, surrounded by his friends. You can’t really ask for much more than that, just a bit later on maybe.

  12. I have just started looking at your blog on seeing you recently stumble upon mine. ‘Tee time for dad’ is your first post for me to read, you have a beautiful storytelling style of poetry, really nice read

  13. Awesome post. Very inspiring, especially to communicate the profound things of life through story. I admire that.
    I also think it’s cool that you’re a techie as well as writer. I am the same, as a web designer (expansivewebdesign.com) and blogger. I’ll be stopping by frequently!

  14. Such a wonderful story of Son and Dad, I enjoy reading it.

  15. Being an avid golfer, as well as loving my dad to death, this post hit home ~ beautifully written.

  16. The blog was interesting, even captivating. I paused as I read with a memory of my quiet kind father. Wonderful.

  17. Chris,
    This is such a lovely piece of writing about your dad. I’m so sorry about your pain. Your piece conveyed so well your love for your dad and the special friendship you had. Thank you for sharing with the world. It’s clear he knew how much you cared.

    Also, thank you so much for stopping by and following Travel Oops. Steph

  18. Hi Chris,
    Parents are great source of energy and happiness for all our lives. And we usually understand the depth of our bond with them when we ourselves become parents. This is a lovely piece of tribute to your Dad. God Bless his Soul.
    Thank a lot for stopping by at my post, Chris.
    Have a good day.!

  19. That was so beautiful & beautifully written. Thanks for sharing it with us. I wish you a blessed day as well!

  20. Dad.. no matter what word describes him. he is the one. irreplaceable. your writings resembles your feelings and characters. i am glad to have given an opportunity reading it

  21. I really enjoyed this post, I too lost my father in 1999 and it was for me a moment in which I had to find who I was, because I had realized I was living off of my father’s name; in essence I didn’t have my own identity. I appreciate your transparency and may you continues to push through this.

  22. Thanks, Chris. Moving and memorable…

  23. Brilliant story. Your dad sounded like a wonderful person. Thanks for visiting my blog, Chris! I appreciate it.

  24. A special memory and a moving piece. Thank you Chris for writing, and reaching out to so many people.

  25. A tender and heartfelt account of someone so dear to you. The importance of taking time to make memories with family and friends is what I took from your special story. So glad you have these memories to think about your Dad. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Very touching story. May your Dad be always remembered.
    And thanks for following 300daysinberlin.wordpress.com :)

  27. A beautiful memory and tribute to your Father and the lasting love between the two of you.

  28. You’re so blessed. Not everyone can relate with such a wonderful father and son relationship…. I loved reading a non-fiction post with all the elements of fiction.

  29. Hi Chris, I lost my dad in 2009, my mom the year before that. Today would have been my dad’s birthday. I don’t like to get emotional but this post choked me up.

  30. This small memories always stay with us!a beautiful tribute Chris!

  31. A nice tribute that evokes special memories of time spent with our own dads, whether present or past. Parents might also notice how important time with sons and daughters of all ages lasts another lifetime. Thanks, Chris.

  32. Very beautiful story Chris… Unforgettable moments in our life that we can cherish forever. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  33. Father and son moments in time are sacred things. Thank you for sharing.

  34. Chris, I love that you allow yourself to write so openly about your faith and feelings; for me, those added impact to your piece. Thanks for the story and finding my blog (who knows how!) and blessings to you to.

  35. Dear One and Ones,
    In times of passing we in joy offer release – at times forgiveness – and let the past ones go by holding them onto our heart and then let them free -
    some times the past ones stand by us for a while, asking being recognized, forgiven or just sending support in love – while they awoke in sudden understanding of their Love at times expressed in physical life and others not.

    Past is present
    Love is always.

    with Love.

  36. Very touched by your words. The tribute is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.
    Erin

  37. Tee Time, nicely written. How lucky for you to have a father that you loved and admired and how successful your father was to have raised you to feel that way.

  38. Hi Chris, As I read this post so many of my own memories flooded back. I also lost my Dad only in 2009, we played billiards and chess regularly, giving each other similar encouragement as you and your Dad did. He also would rest his hand on my knee at times, sharing stories, thoughts and dreams, as we drove along. He was my best friend, he also left a lingering awareness of love for me unlike anyone else has.
    It is hard, and having never lost anyone so dear to me before I am still rattled by the loss.
    Thank you so much for sharing this post which allowed wonderful memories to rise up, and for following my blog so I could track back to read yours. Blessings to you! :)

  39. You made him live forever here! Touching and wonderful!

  40. I think it is amazing that you are able to talk about your biggest trials in life and show an uplifting and God inspired attitude about life. Thankyou for following my blog. I am new to blogging but am a creative writing student at UH and have been told countless times that I need to get my work out there…..well…and I have a God inspired mission with what I’m writing…God basically has nagged me about it…literally…in a good way…I mean sure I call it nagging but if God’s talking it is always good right? Do you have any tips on running a successful blog for a newby blogger like myself?

  41. Holy wow, that was amazing. I still have my dad but I’m a daddy’s girl so this still touched me. I’m sorry for your loss but thankful that you’ll see him again some day.

  42. What a wonderful gift your father gave you by setting that time aside every week to be together.

    Thanks for stopping by and following my blog. I hope you enjoy it.
    Huffygirl

  43. Thank you for sharing! What a wonderful gift to have experienced the beauty of a father-son relationship which is unlike any other. I’m so grateful we are guaranteed eternity in Christ, not only to see God, but our loved ones again!!

  44. That is so moving. I can’t imagine losing my mum and dad, I dread the day it will happen as I know it will completely break my heart..

  45. What a beautifully written story about your dad. What a blessing to have the chance to share the weekly golf routine with him, and even more, how wonderful that you fully recognize the importance of that time together. Thanks for following my blog.

  46. Thanks for following Hanukah. Have signed up to hear you as you right your beautiful prose. Love David

  47. Chris, That is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. You are so fortunate to have had this relationship with your father but, even more fortunate that you realize the value of it. You have shared much with us here. Thank you.

  48. My father is one of my best friends… my goodness he drives me crazy! I am fortunate enough to still have him around and his golf game has improved immensely since his retirement. My game is literally non-existent. Thanks for such a great post and moments shared. I’ll definitely be back, Chris…

  49. I love your website and this post. Tee Time is beautiful, and exactly the right thing for me to read this morning. You are a very gifted writer.

  50. Very touching tribute to your father Chris.
    Love our parents… they sacrifice a lot to make us happy, without letting us realize….Many a times we are so busy growing up that we forget that they are also growing old…. to spend Quality time with them, treat our parents with loving care, for you will know their value, when you see their empty chair…. ……….
    He was just as lucky to have had a son like you, that loved and cared for him.

  51. It is very hard to lose someone. To understand that you will never see him again, hug him, hear his voice…. I’m sure your dad is smiling in heaven and he wants you to be happy. Never forget those great moments you spent with him. Your dad will always be with you!

  52. I’m moved by your writing Chris. The best stories are those from the heart. Thanks for sharing it with us. Also many thanks for visiting my blog. Your comments will be highly valued.

  53. I think it’s a gift to be able to express ourselves in writing to honor people like your dad. Thank you for visiting my blog and liking my entry. The grandfather that I wrote about passed away shortly after I got married almost 26 years ago, yet I’ve been missing him like crazy lately. He would have loved my children. Truly, we are privileged to have known and been loved by such men.

  54. Those words were lovely. I lost someone very dear to me suddenly two years a go last September. That month will never be the same for me again. I do firmly believe that we will meet our loved ones again one day. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  55. Very nice story, Chris.

    I lost my father when I was 14 years old. He worked a lot, sometimes with two jobs, so our family could have a better life. As a result, I didn’t begin to really know him until a year or so before he died.

    He’d had a couple of heart attacks already, the first one 10 years before. He was too proud and stubborn to quit the things (like smoking) that would weaken his heart and eventually kill him when the third one came.

    The most important thing I learned that day was that there are no guarantees for tomorrow, either for yourself or your loved ones. Get as much as you can from each day. Don’t leave a loved one without saying goodbye; don’t hang up on someone you love; don’t go to bed without saying goodnight to those that share your household.

    There might not be a second chance.

  56. I got goosebumps at the very end –> “a tee time in eternity.” This was such a beautiful post! I’m excited to read more from you. :)

  57. Beautiful tribute…my mom (who was also my dearest friend) went to be with Jesus eleven months before your dad. Certainly they have met by now… blessings all over you today.

  58. I can’t breathe when I think of the day I’ll lose my own father. This is a nice tribute to yours, and I’m sure he’s smiling.

  59. This was very touching. Thank you so much for sharing.

  60. A touching tribute to your dad! A blessing from God. . .

  61. Amazing, I don’t think I could have articulated those moments as well. This is exactly how I felt of my Dad and I and our time on the course.

    I’m grateful I still have moments to look forward to but never forget that the moment’s in the future are just a memory in my mind… I’m grateful that I can still hope to make the memories real.

    I am sorry for your loss, but embrace your ability to remember the joy.

  62. Many fond memories of playing golf with my dad as well. He got me started on the game as a young teen and from that day forward I was hooked. There was no one I would rather play with than my dad. Saturday’s had far too many days in-between. We would get up at 4:00 for the first tee time before the breaking of the dawn. I visited him in the summers, he lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. By the time we made the turn, two hours later, it was already blistering hot. I lost my dad 10 years ago. Those days of playing with him were truly some of the fondest of my life. Thanks for sharing your heart!

  63. Our fathers, the men that share their time, their lives, their love–they never leave our hearts and souls. Thank you for this beautiful tribute. I too lost my father in October and we buried him on his 94 birthday but all the days of my life–I’ll know he’s my best friend and confident.

  64. I will never tire of reading your heartfelt words about your wonderful father, your time together. He was, (and still is), an incredible man, and you are a man soooooooo much like him! What a tribute to him you have written, Chris. I sure miss him, and can only imagine what every October is like for you and your family. Love you, Bro.

  65. I will never tire of reading your heartfelt words about your wonderful father, your time together. He was, (and still is), an incredible man, and you are a man soooooooo much like him! What a tribute to him you have written, Chris. I sure miss him, and can only imagine what every October is like for you and your family. Love you, Bro.

  66. Beautiful and poignant! Thank you…

  67. This is so beautifully written…I’ve been estranged from my dad for years!…This made me miss him *smiles*
    He was just as lucky to have had a son like you, that loved and cared for him.

  68. Very lovely tribute to your father. I am sorry for your loss. Keep holding him in your heart.

  69. Loved it. I had a father who was gone by the time I was 2, but was lucky to have had a Dad that raised me an my brother as his own. Gone 6 years now and I miss him a lot. Your post touched me.

  70. A very moving story, and reminded me of my own dad as well, who I lost 15 years ago. Their impact on our lives never leaves us….

  71. That is beautiful. I lost my father as well and miss him every day. Keep golfing…it keeps the memory alive!!

  72. Thanks for sharing Chris. It was very moving.

  73. sweet memory Chris, you dad must be smiling over there reading this…

  74. What a beautiful tribute to your dad.

  75. Great story. I also lost my Dad in 2008 and I didn’t get to spend nearly as much time with as I would have liked, which I regret. it’s fortunate you got that special day a week with yours. I look forward to your next post. Thanks.

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