Dad and Tools

My dad died several years ago and we lived in different cities for twenty years before that, so I rarely saw him more than three or four times a year. But now I see him nearly every day.

No, he doesn’t appear in a vision. I ‘see’ Dad in the tools he gave me. Not the tools of life, but literally tools, like hammers, screwdrivers, C clamps.

He probably had enough tools in his garage to start a hardware store and he always intended me to have them one day. So one day in 2003, a few years after he died, I loaded them into a U-Haul trailer for the journey from his garage to mine.

Every time I reach for one of those tools, I think of him. Some of the tools are older than me. He and I used them together on many projects when I was a kid.

This week I started moving the tools again, from one location in my house to another, and as I began to clean and re-organize them, I realized Father’s Day is this week. Interesting timing for my tool moving project, isn’t it?

Dad had a tool for every situation … big clamps, small clamps, tools that cut metal pipes, wire gauge tools, vice grips, crescent wrenches, ratchet wrenches, pipe wrenches. He had tools I can’t even identify. He could tell you the usage of every tool and often had a story to go along with the reason for buying some of the tools. Sometimes he’d buy a tool just in case he might need it some day.

As I move each tool to its new location this week, I think of him and how he influenced me ... and I realize that he really did give me the tools of life.

And whatever this thing is:

Thanks, Dad.
Happy Father’s Day.