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How Do I Change The Oil, Dad?

"Jo-Jo, I'm not going to ask you again. Come outside. Your brother and I are waiting for you."

I apathetically got off the couch and headed to the garage to join my brother and father.

It was an ice-cold December 15th day. My dad believed it was necessary to teach Payton and me how to change the oil in our car. While he didn't know the proper lingo, his enthusiasm made up for his ignorance on the subject.

"Now guys, first you need to check this stick thingy to see if the oil is dirty and needs to be changed. If it is a nasty color and is below this line, your car is screaming for an oil change."

He went on to say a few other things and then proceeded to show us how to prop up the car and change the oil. I was too busy ignoring him that I forgot to pay attention. Little did I know that just a few days later, I would lose the man who would be one phone call away to help with my car issues.

"Remember that people are only guests in your story – the same way you are only a guest in theirs – so make the chapters worth reading." - Lauren Klarfield

I had the best dad a seventeen-year-old boy could ask for. He was the funniest guy he knew and the most encouraging person you would ever meet. He believed in people more than they believed in themselves. He brought the Gospel to life through his stories and provoking thoughts.

He truly was a daddy worthy of the hall of fame.

Father's day is always difficult for me. I have plenty to remember and be thankful for, but I miss not being able to call my dad when my car breaks down or when I need help writing a sermon.

My dad wasn't there to see me get married or buy my first home. He isn't able to walk with me through church pain and sermon prep. While I am grateful he taught me a lifetime worth of knowledge on how to be a man in seventeen years, I miss the memories we would have created if he was here.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18, NIV

I never did learn how to change the oil in my car. It is much easier to have a car shop do it for me. I also didn't know license plates needed to be renewed until a brother of mine pointed it out to me after they were expired for three months...

While I have plenty to be grateful for, I miss my dad more than words can ever express. I have spent six Father's Days without him, and plan on spending many more this way.

However, even though I don't know how to change the oil and barely know the names of tools in my tool kit (I often ask Marissa for help in this field), I am blessed to have a father-in-law who knew and loved my dad as I did. He reminds me of my dad often and I am grateful for that.


If today is a difficult day for you, reach out to me and we can walk together.

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