One thing I’ve always loved about country music is how it can really put you in a certain place or time in your life.  It brings you right back there.  But it’s been a little while since I’ve had a song hit me like this one. 

If you haven't checked out the new song from Zac Brown Band, this is one of their best ever. It's called "My Old Man" and it feels like they wrote it about my dad.

I remember my dad a certain way.  My dad was big.  He seemed larger than life with red hair and fire in his eyes.  I thought he was a giant as I looked up to him growing up.

He was tough.  People who worked with him called him Big Red (not to his face…he didn’t like that name).  I never wanted to cross him.  When I was growing up, I remember my brother taunting my dad.  His imprint was often there on the couch because he seemed to spend a lot of time there.  So who would have thought that that man who was without a doubt 320+ pounds could have moved as fast as he did to make sure my brother still knew not to poke a bear?

Lots of people just knew you didn’t want to be on his bad side.  He was the uncle that my aunts would threaten to leave their kids with just so that they could have their attitudes adjusted.

So who would have guessed that he would become one of my absolute best friends?  He seems mean right?  As I grew up, I saw my dad become a softer, more gentle man.  He was a person I could just ask for advice and get what I needed.  It wasn’t always what I wanted to hear…but it was always what I needed to hear.   I feel like I remember every word of advice he ever gave me.  I soaked it in.

I remember him giving me talks on football, and being honorable, and doing the right thing.  When I needed help with my kids, he was the first one I’d call.  As I was learning to be a new dad, he was who I modeled my parenting after.

I grew up in house full of love.  I was very lucky to have him.  I get that.

He died a month before my 30th birthday of a heart attack in his sleep.  If he was here today I hope I would have the ability to tell him thank you.

So yeah…I hope I’ve made him proud.  I’ve got two beautiful children who I am very proud of and now.  I’m hoping to give them what I had - a house full of love and helpful advice.  And I hope one day they can look back and say the same about their old man.