I’m standing in my shower, still feeling a few aches and twinges in my back and legs. (I played on Monday for the first time in quite a while.) And my father suddenly came to mind. In the early 90’s Dad was diagnosed with colon cancer and was preparing for regimen of chemo. I’d received a nice check from a film and called to express my love and support.
“Dad, when this is over, I’d like for the two of us to go away for a few days, just relax and play some golf again together. Where would you like to go?” Without any hesitation, he said simply, “PInehurst.” “Done. I’ll see you soon.”
Pinehurst is a golfing mecca in N. Carolina, on whose elegant grounds and numerous courses my distinguished father would have been allowed, only as a caddie in his younger days. Two months later, I flew to Ohio and we made the drive to Pinehurst. Dad had lost a few pounds and was more frail than I’d ever before seen him but his spirits were high and we settled into, first the main hotel and later, a lovely condo on a course. In five days we played four full rounds of 18 holes; at times humbled by the Donald Ross greens, other times exultant at a shot well played. Those are treasured memories.
And I’m standing the shower and have this thought: How on earth did he DO that? I’m seven years younger TODAY…and I’m still tired, after a single round! Dad grew up poor and black in Louisiana in the early 20th century. His accomplishments came from someone with uncommon will and character. I have good genes, I have his will…and I know that I will never be the man my father was. My path was always paved by his standards and example.