The proud one: A tribute for Father’s Day

The Christensens. l.-r., Gabby, Craig, Lisa, Bella.

By Gabby Christensen

In the winter of 1969, a group of young boys around the age of 11 were throwing snowballs at cars passing by. They giggled all the while, that is, until a police officer pulled up next to them.
All the boys scattered—except one.
The officer said, “What’s your name son? Where do you live?”
And, believe it or not, the little boy willingly gave up the information.
I heard this story from my Grandpa George, who laughs every time he tells it. He said he can’t believe the boy didn’t run or lie like most kids would have.
Turns out, the honest little boy happened to be my dad, Craig.
I guess it just goes to show, my dad has always done what was right—even if he was a little mischievous from time to time.
Throughout his youth, my dad loved playing baseball, football and wrestling. He spent his summers helping his Grandpa Martinsen and Uncle Ronnie out on the farm in Primrose.
He loved visiting his Grandma Viola. He especially loved her fried chicken, creamed baby potatoes and fresh peas.
He listened to rock ‘n roll in high school and was always up to date on the newest music.
However, it wasn’t until the winter of ’76 when a pretty young lady by the name of Lisa stepped into his life, that his world was really rocked. The pretty lady has been by his side ever since.
He bought a brand new ‘77 Ford Thunderbird his senior year of high school—between this car and his hair, I don’t know which was more important.
But then he became a father in ‘81, ‘88, ‘95 and again in ‘96. A lot of other things became more important to him.
Over the years, there have been many things I’ve come to learn and admire about the man.
And with Father’s Day approaching, I start to think of all these things…
He’s peaceful, yet stubborn.
He’s hardworking and, like I mentioned, believes in doing the right thing.
He’s observant and quiet. But what my dad lacked in words, he has always made up for in action.
His hands are often times calloused and he comes home dirty, tired, from a long day’s work.
He loves lounging on the couch in front of the TV on the weekends—usually with a bag full of popcorn.
When dad tells a story, the room goes silent.
He’s hilarious and clever. I’ve been giggling at him since the beginnig of time.
When I was a baby, my dad would sing “Let Her Cry” by Hootie and the Blowfish whenever I started wailing. I’m sure my mom got a kick out of it.
Back in the day, my dad would gallop through the house on Saturday and Sunday mornings, waking us up with his music from the past and some new good ones. (He has the best music collection. Period.)
The delicious smell of his pancakes could travel to any room of the house.
Dad’s a traveler and he’s fearless. Adventure calls him and he always picks up.
My dad is so helpful and patient. My mom says he has enough patience for the both of them.
He takes chances, but thinks everything through.
The idea of disappointing him has always killed me. I’ve always strived to make him proud.
Little did I know, he’s not that easy to disappoint. He gives second chances and he’s never given up on his kids.
As time goes on, I’ve come to realize that parents are more of a gift to the kids than kids are to the parents.
He’s sacrificed so much for his family and I wonder if he’ll ever know how much I admire his strength, kindness, and character.
And, as it turns out, I’m the proud one—so proud to call him my dad.