Rolling with Stone

By Jessi Stone Guide editor | Jun 11, 2014

This weekend is Father’s Day and I’m certain you will find something in this week’s Guide that is sure to entertain the special dads in your life.

Sadly, my dad will be working in South Carolina and I will be working here in Waynesville this weekend. Chances are we won’t be able to see each other so I thought I’d pay tribute to him in my column this week.

My dad was young when I was born — 24 and just out of the Navy. He always worked really hard to provide for us, which meant we didn’t see him much growing up. I definitely took our relationship for granted and held onto a lot of anger toward him.

We butted heads a lot when I was a teenager and even through my college years. But now I realize it's because we're just alike — temperamental, stubborn and overly sensitive at the same time.

But as I've gotten older, I've started to understand my parents more and appreciate the struggles they went through. It's easier for me now to admit how much it means to me to have him in my life.

I can see that I also got many of my dad’s good qualities — I’m ambitious, hardworking, outgoing and optimistic. These are the qualities we try to focus on in our relationship these days.

Now that I’m an adult and he rarely has to tell me what I need to do, we are able to enjoy each other much more. We go out to dinner, we road tripped to New York last fall, we listen to great music together, we talk honestly about our lives and he’s one of the first people I want to call when I have good news.

But none of that would have been possible had we held on to past hurt and resentment. If you are lucky enough to have your father nearby, I hope you don’t take him for granted and I hope you can forgive each other for things in the past.

I think at some point we all have to realize our parents are just people. We all make mistakes, but we’re only cheating ourselves if we don’t make the most of the time we have with them.

Those who have lost a father can tell you that better than I can I’m sure. I know how lucky I am to have my dad, and he’s a pretty damn good one. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the things he taught me. There are two quotes from my dad that made me roll my eyes when I was younger, but I can’t count the number of times those words have helped me.

The first one — “Don’t burn your bridges Jessi, you never know when you might need to cross them again.” This piece of advice has saved me so many times I’ve lost count.

The second — “Your credit score is the only thing you have in life.” Yeah, it may be an overstatement, but I learned at an early age how important it was to pay my bills on time and to manage the little bit of money I had. If you do still have your father around, call him or hug him this weekend and tell him how much he means to you.

If you want to take your dad out for a good time, I have a few recommendations — the annual Appalachian Lifestyles Celebration for awesome bluegrass, food and crafts, the WNC Highlands Celtic Festival in Asheville or the Taste of Scotland Festival in Franklin for the Scottish heritage buffs or if he’s not into the crowds, take him to his favorite fishing hole.

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