“You can’t deny him”.
“He looks just like you.”
“I feel like I’m looking at a little Wayne.”
I’ve heard that all my life. From the time I was old enough to understand the words people were saying, they’ve been saying how much I look like my dad. Exactly like my dad.
I remember picking up an old black and white photo from one of my mom’s photo albums, thinking it was me. Nope, it was an old picture of my dad from the 5th grade.
And it apparently went beyond just looking like him. One of my high school friends who’s dad went to school with my dad told me, “My dad says your dad acted just like you did when he was in high school.”
We both played basketball in school. We were both selected as “class clowns” of our senior class. We both liked to tell a good joke. We both liked people, and doing things for people and making people feel pretty good about themselves.
He introduced me to golf, country music and Auburn football. He taught me how to drive, taught me the importance of doing a good hard days work. He taught me the importance of taking care of family, loving his mom and serving the people around him.
One of my favorite memories is the football games we used to go to. One Auburn-Alabama game we looked behind us and saw Payne Stewart and Orel Hershisher sitting in the stands at Jordan-Hare Stadium. At another, we yelled like crazy kids when substitute quarterback Patrick Nix threw a 4th down TD against Alabama.
A few years ago, Dad and I got to see a heavyweight boxing match with Mike Tyson in Memphis. The fight lasted all of 7 seconds, but it was a great time being there with him.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and realize that I am now the age Dad was when I was in high school. I think of what all he had accomplished by that age, and how much I have to do and learn to be anywhere close to being “just like Wayne Tucker”.
There are a few things I wish for my dad on this Father’s Day. I wish his back felt well enough, or the pain would go away enough for him to play golf again. I wish we could go to another Auburn football game down on the Plains. I wish we could get down there to visit him more often. And I wish he’d stay for more than a night or two when he visits us.
I wish it would rain on his garden. I wish his grandkids could grow up closer to him and my mom so they could learn some of what I learned. And I wish one day he could meet Kitty Wells, Bashful Bob, Dolly Parton and Charley Pride.
Happy Father’s Day Dad. Thanks for everything.