Father’s Day/Amazing Love

        Our song of the day yesterday at church was ‘Amazing Love.’  I thought it was just right for Father’s Day.

        I was fortunate to have a good Father.  He was also a country Doc.  I used to go on house calls with him.  He worked very hard, maybe too much at times, though they had little choice in the matter.  Even though he had a tough go, I could tell what it meant.  We’d go out to the Fairgrounds and some child would come up and hug his pant legs and tell him how much they loved him.  I didn’t know exactly what he did, but I wanted to be a part of it.

        I heard of a minister whose work was with death row inmates.  He said he never met a man on death row who had a good relationship with his father.  I never forget that, and vowed when my time came I’d do my best too.

       The best thing a fellow can do to be a good father is pick out a good mother for his children.  I was lucky on that one.  When I married their mama I figured God would give us beautiful children and it worked out just like that.   I have often said God knew what God was doing, ’cause if it was up to men to have babies, the human race woulda died out a long time ago.  I am a Doc and I tried to be as supportive as I knew how, but like most men all I really know about the miracle of birthing babies is to read ‘Field and Stream’ magazine in the waiting room, smoke a fine cigar, and brag. 

        Marfar had her hands full.  She was both the grace and the discipline.  I was (and still am in many ways) nothing but an overgrown child who was fortunate enough to have a good grown up Doctor brain.  In truth she raised three; our two and me, and did a fine job of it.

        But I loved to work and play hard, and I included my kids in it all. They hung out at the office with me and made hospital rounds.  We’d stop at a red light on the way to the hospital and their grade school word lists would flutter to the floorboard.  They’d gather ’em up and we’d memorize a few more.  I told them it was the only way our people knew how to survive so they better get good at it.  They became good with words.  

        Somewhere early on I read children need rituals; a routine they can count on.  There was a little country restaurant on the way to school, and I took them there for breakfast every Wednesday morning without fail.  I was often on call Tuesday nights.  At times I was so tired I thought my face was gonna plop right into my eggs, but we kept it up.  I was a busy young Doc, and didn’t have as much time for them as I wanted.  But at Wednesday breakfast I learned of all their hopes and dreams, and encouraged them to reach for them.

        They both did well.  My boy is a paramedic who loves to ride Harleys and work on cars.  He has a fine mechanical mind and can fix anything.  My daughter is an intellectual young lady who is in Public Health in the Tobacco Triangle.  Her special interest is in health care for the under-served.  The child has already been around the world and is working a plan to save it.

        They both play a little music.  I taught my son mandolin, guitar and banjo, and he learned the bass on his own so he could play in the church praise band.  (His mom took it up later)  My Marie was in the orchestra and learned violin, piano and bass (plus some bluegrass bass from her mom) and I gave her a mandolin and she knows some on that too.

         My boy and I played a lot of golf together.   Golf was our time and his sister and mom only played a little.  When he was little he once asked when a man was ready to be married.  Son, I said, “when you are mentally prepared to bust your a^^ all month, and give everything you have to make sure you take care of your people, and at then at the end of the month you have enough left over to walk nine holes of golf and buy a hamburger, and when it thrills you to have that opportunity, then you’re ready.”

         He’s married now and doing well.  He’s not a father yet, but I pray he’ll be a good one, and I am sure he will.

         My daughter was my book kid.  In the third grade she’d want to  talk about issues like poverty and world hunger.  She was a normal girl; quite feminine and as pretty as her mama, but boyfriend, clothes and makeup worries just weren’t on her radar.  Still, I always saw her as my little girl.  She only got mad at me one time.  We were out in the yard pitching baseballs, and she stalked in. 

        I followed her in the house.  “What’s the matter?” I asked.

        “You won’t throw it at me as hard as you will to Tommy.”  She held back big tears.

        I bought her a basket of flowers the next day, but from then on I threw just as hard to her as I did the boys.  She is now a black belt in karate, so I guess she showed me a thing or two about chauvinism, huh?

        Our song of the day in church was “Amazing  Love.”  My definition of love is to care more about someone else than yourself.  If the terrorists were to show up at the house and demand my wife and children they’d have to kill me first.  They are younger and stronger than me, and they would prevail, but I’d hope to put up enough of a fight to where my people could escape.

       Of course what would really happen is my boy would beat ’em with a ball bat and my daughter would kick the h@## out of ’em with karate.  Then Ms. Marfar’d take ’em her best southern barbecued chicken down to the Harvey County jail and they’d wonder exactly why they signed up for this terrorist gig to start with.

         Human love and forgiveness is an amazing thing.  But the love of our Heavenly Father far exceeds even that.  I love my children so much that as a human I could never give them up without  a fight.  I can’t understand God’s love; to give up His only Son.  I guess part of Grace is to accept what we as mortals have no way to comprehend. 

        As an earthly father, I’ll take all the help I can get.  One of these days I’m gonna have grandchildren.  I hear that is God’s way to give you a second chance to do better than when you were young, dumb, and scared half to death.  I’m gonna make the best of it when the time comes. 

Dr. B

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18 Comments on “Father’s Day/Amazing Love”

  1. Mrs. Chili Says:

    Doc, this is beautiful.

    As someone who had an abusive relationship with her father, I can attest to the amount of work it takes to make up for an absent (or bad) father in one’s life. I take a lot of joy in watching my girls’ relationship with their Daddy; I know they’ll never have to suffer the way I did, and that’s worth the suffering that I did. It ended with me, and that’s saying something.

    Happy father’s day.

    • drtombibey Says:


      You are a sweet lady. From here on out I am your electronic Dad if you’ll have me.

      You have overcome it all to be a fine wife and mother to all those little chilis and it speaks to your character so much.

      Dr. B

  2. Karen Says:

    Dr. B., I have been blessed with a great dad. I was (and still am) very much Daddy’s little girl. He always told me I was beautiful, protected me way too much (according to me, anyway!) and wanted nothing but for me to be safe, happy and loved.

    I remember the night before my 5th birthday. He sat me on his knee and jokingly said, “Don’t turn 5! You stay 4 for Daddy. Daddy doesn’t want you to grow up.” I was an earnest little thing and I took it to heart. I wanted nothing more than to please my dad. The following morning I woke up in tears because no matter how much I loved my dad, I couldn’t stay 4. (Secretly, I think he’d still like me to be 4 🙂 )

    I can also relate to your Marie’s indignance at being treated like ‘a girl’. I was always furious if anyone made any allowance for the fact that I’m a girl. I like to think I could hold my own with the boys in just about any sport. In fact, my goal is to be able to outrun, outkick and outplay my boys until they are at least 13. Then I might concede defeat 🙂

    I am also blessed that my husband is an amazing dad. He loves our boys more than he ever thought possible and invests time and energy into his relationship with them. It is both our prayers that our three beautiful young boys will grow up to be the men that God wants them to be.

    Happy Father’s Day, Dr. B. It’s not Father’s Day here until September, so you’ll get another day to celebrate then. 🙂

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms Karen,

      I can truly relate, ’cause all I have to do is close my eyes and my daughter is four again. She is all grown up now, but you like to think you can protect them forever. Truth is, she’d be the one to protect me now, but she always pretends like it’s the other way around.

      All the best to you and yours there in Australia, and Happy Father’s Day when it comes around there, too.

      Dr. B

  3. MJ Says:

    Dr. B.,

    I’m glad you directed me to read this. It put a smile on my face.

    I most liked this bit about your daughter: “The child has already been around the world and is working a plan to save it.” It made me believe, from the way you wrote it, that she almost could save the world single-handedly.

    Thanks for your message. I’m a’working on some more writing. I haven’t let that missed opportunity knock me down and keep me there.


    • drtombibey Says:


      Hey thanks so much for your visit. Yeah, you know I hold to hope and think somehow my young’uns might just save us all some day. My bet is your Dad thinks the same of you. Matter of fact for all I know you might be the very child who helps mine make it happen.

      Dr. B

      • MJ Says:

        Dr. B,

        I don’t see myself that way, but your daughter and I can try, can’t we? Who knows? We may do it, or we may just end up like the proverbial man walking along the shore throwing starfish back into the ocean. He can’t save them all, but he sure can do his part. But if there are enough likeminded people…


  4. Dr B
    Every day you restore my faith in humanity just a little bit more, and now you’ve given me hope for my own future child (We’re trying for a family). I had an awful father, but my mother made up for his lack. Now I have a step dad who is only five years older than me but is more of a protector than my own father ever was. I also found security with my brother and uncle. I am now fortunate to have a wonderful husband – a genuine honorable man – who, despite his equally awful relationship with his own father, will make a great dad. It warms my heart to know there are good ones out there and that everything you did was a choice made by your own volition. Thanks for another beautiful post.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms. Sharon,

      I just started out trying to do right by my people ’cause it seemed like the right thing to do. What I didn’t realize was how it was going to end up blessing me so many times over.

      As a Doc I have seen so many folks who didn’t get treated right as kids rise above it and become excellent parents ’cause they have a dream for something better. mrschili’s comment above is living proof of the phenomenon.

      One reason I believe we all write is to help us articulate and solidify those truths we hope to find. Then it is easier to live them. It is part of the beauty of art.

      Dr. B

  5. drtombibey Says:


    Well kid, part of my story is this: If a country boy who grew up thinking pizza was an exotic foreign dish can make a Doctor there is no limit for bright young ladies like you and my daughter.

    I always said I wanted my kids to jump-start the learning curve, and they did that. I have read your writing, and I find you mature in your thinking well beyond your years.

    When I was your age I thought once you got to Raleigh that was where the world ended. You guys are far more sophisticated than we were.

    It’s like I tell my young patients who are going into Nursing or Medicine. “Great,” I’ll say. “Maybe you can look after me in the Nursing Home some day.” They always promise they will.

    Dr. B

  6. newt221 Says:

    Dr. B….

    You sure know have to make someone want to say AMEN! We all need more men and dads like you in our lives. You children will be telling their kids about that Wednesday morning breakfast and will start their own rituals when they get the chance.

    That is how love gets passed on from generation to generation. From your dad to you to your children and on….

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms newt 221,

      So good to hear from my North Carolinian e-sister. Hope all is well your way.

      Yeah I hope some tough Dad might read this and decide if old Doc took his kids to breakfast, maybe there’s something to it. Like you say, we all need to pass it on down the line.

      Dr. B

  7. Billy Says:

    Dad dermit Dr. B. I pull over to eat lunch, fill up the truck and check emails and you have to lay a Blog Post like that on me.

    When I get back in the truck I am pulling out my tape recorder and start to jot down stories that I want my kids and grand kids to know about my road. Tonight I start to write. If you can do it I can do it.

    • drtombibey Says:


      If old Doc can do it, you can. I heard of a guy who was a mailman. Whenever he stopped he would jot down a few notes. After about a decade he had a novel, and he became famous.

      I’m afraid if I don’t write down my stories, they’ll get lost.

      Dr. B

  8. pandemonic Says:

    Happy belated Father’s Day. I loved this post.

    • drtombibey Says:

      Ms Pande,

      Always good to hear from you. Happy Father’s Day to you, Mr. Demonic and all the Pande bears in the Frozen Tundra.

      Dr. B

  9. Baby Bibey Says:

    You better be looking for those grandchildren from your son! 🙂 I remember, much like when Karen turned four, you coming into the room where I was getting ready for school on my 16th birthday. With tears every bit as large as your entire eye balls, you told me how much you loved me and that you got some a little something special between you and me for my sweet 16. I opened the little pink box and it was my birthstone with a little diamond above it. You told me that you loved me (and that you didn’t get me a diamond b/c you wanted someone else to be able to give me a bigger one someday). I still wear that necklace every year for my birthday and think of how much my daddy loves me.
    ~Baby Bibey

    • drtombibey Says:

      Baby Bibey,

      To the best little girl in the whole wide world I hope you can stay my Baby Bibey for at least a few more years. Even after you aren’t my baby anymore maybe you can pretend like you are anyway when I’m around.

      Wish I was a rich man and could send ‘ya about ten G’s but love is better than money anyway.

      Love always,


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