Honoring Big John (aka, my dad) by Linda Filgo
My Dad was always up there on the balcony, and still is. He occupies the first balcony to the right of the pearly gates.
As a teen I knew better than to play the ask-one-parent-and-then-ask-the-other-if-you-don’t-like-the-answer game. My mother would almost automatically say “No.” But my Dad, when I would ask permission to do anything at all, he never said “No.” He would say, “I know you’ll do the right thing.”
Oh man – that meant I HAD to Do The Right Thing, so as not to let him down.
And no easy way out explaining to my friends that my parents won’t let me…
I HAD to say I KNEW it wasn’t a good thing to do, if the venture was the least bit questionable.
Of course what he was giving me was the gift of independence and the key to the double doors of maturity and responsibility.
Much later in life, I became a 40-year old art student at TSTC and he was my most enthusiastic cheerleader. I couldn’t wait to show him my assignments and projects, because I knew he would be so proud of me.
Recently, my son, Kelly, did a recording at for National Public Radio, recalling his memories of his grandaddy as the man who inspired his love of flying. Daddy was a passionate pilot. He built two planes, and loved having Kelly work with him. Kelly “caught” the flying bug, and recently devoted his life to missions work with Wings for Christ.
We were all blessed to have had my dad in our lives. He gave as much focused attention and encouragement to each of his children and grandchildren as he did to Kelly and me. We all knew he expected goodness and great things from us all. He could look at us, even as children, with blazing amazement. He helped me believe in my gifts. His confidence empowered me.
Twenty years ago, he died and the world hasn’t seemed “right” since. However, once in a while, just when I need it the most, I can hear his quiet, steadying voice say, “Atta girl!”
Linda Williams Filgo is a Waco artist whose beautiful work can be seen HERE.