Here’s a paraphrase of a video from a recent Fathers Forum event in Dallas where Punky Tolson spoke to Abiding Fathers’ followers.
The fact that I have so many memories of my dad that are so clear and so vivid and to this day can still invoke so much emotion is nothing short of a miracle. They were huge memories that he impressed on my life and are indelible to this day. Some right, some wrong, some good, some not so good, but I’ve learned from every single one of the things that my dad showed me, even the things that were not so good.
The Bible tells us what love is in First Corinthians 13 and Paul goes through that beautiful litany of all that love is and all that love encompasses. Then we’re left with these three things: faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love. My daddy showed me not what love is so much as what love does by how he lived his life.
The first thing my daddy showed me was how to have fun and laugh. In fact, he showed me to laugh loud and laugh really hard. Laughter was key, and I’m convinced that the gift he gave me by showing me to laugh at myself and other things just to have fun got me through some of the roughest points of my life. He would make up little songs, he would tell jokes; he and his brother and his dad were great joke tellers. They could sit there with a straight face, they wouldn’t mug it or ham it up, they would tell these jokes, joke after joke after joke. I can see daddy still to this day laughing. One time I decided to take the hose and squirt it on him and he would just laugh. Instead of getting mad about it or upset about it he would just laugh. I believe as it has been said that so often laughter is the elixir, the medicine for the soul. It was some good medicine; in fact, I feel that we needed laughter in our household to counteract some of the other things that were far from laughter.
My daddy also taught me to find adventure and the thrills of ordinary life. There was the adventure of going to the dump. I just want to tell you, please do not feel sorry for me. This was one of the highlights of my life. Not much in my life can hold a candle to this. Daddy loved to trim the hedges, the trees, grass, sprinkler systems, you name it. He was always working on our yard. Afterwards, there were some things that needed to be hauled off to the dump. The dump to me was this fascinating place in my mind and we would beg to go to the dump and one day I won the winning ticket and got to go to the dump with my dad. So, we would load all the trash in the back of his pickup and got in the truck and would go down the highway toward the dump. We had an adventure on the way; because on the way a buzzard landed on the back of the truck and Daddy didn’t even flinch. He just banged on the side of the door and the buzzard flew off. I just remember thinking ‘he is my hero’. We got to the dump and there was mound after mound of stuff and it was just the biggest thrill and the biggest adventure. Dumps are very underrated, I’m just here to tell you, very underrated.
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About Punky Tolson:
Punky is a Bible teacher, writer, blogger, speaker and “disciple-maker”. She speaks locally and nationally at women’s conferences and events sharing her story of finding freedom and true satisfaction in Christ, marrying later in life, being a breast cancer survivor, living the life you were destined for, and more.
She is Co-founder of The Gathering of Women, an outreach and evangelistic Bible study in Dallas, Texas, and is a contributing writer for God Crazy Freedom, and writer her own blog, Making the Most of Now. Punky and her husband, Dr. John Tolson, are partners in a gospel-centered discipleship ministry known as The Tolson Group, located in Dallas, Texas.