Tomorrow is Father’s Day — and it’s always a hard one for me. I lost my Dad, the late JC Phelps, when I was 15 years old (2009). While I often feel that it was unfair to lose such a powerhouse at a young age, I also feel immensely blessed, grateful, and privileged to have been able to call him “Dad” for the amount of time that I did.
I usually try to go to the beach or out of the country on this day; luckily, I am leaving for a trip to Key West, Florida and Havana, Cuba tomorrow. I know that my Dad would have been proud of my sense of adventure — he always wanted to ensure that I was happy, laughing, and enjoying life.
Let me tell you a little bit about my Dad:
He was, first and foremost, a son and a father. He loved Jude and was a total momma’s boy (Can you blame him? She’s amazing!). Furthermore, he very much loved his two children. He always made that clear to us.
He was a teddy bear. So friendly, always talkative, always cutting up. He was once accused of constantly running for office in Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken because he stopped at every table to speak to friends before he sat down at our table. Long story short, he knew everyone in the restaurant – to those that knew him, this will not come as a surprise.
He was an amazing athlete – high school, collegiate, professional. I seemed to have skipped out on that gene.
He was a boater. He actually died on Lake Cumberland, and at risk of sounding morbid, there’s nowhere else he would have rather passed. He loved his CDs, his boat, the waves, beaming sun, and a cold one.
He was loved. Case closed. So many people adored him and his legacy is just as present now as it was then. People still stop me, message me, text me funny stories from their past. They tell me how much they loved him. They tell me ways in which he helped them, put a smile on their face, how much they miss him.
I, too, know this feeling. I loved him, love him, and will continue to do so; I missed him, miss him, and will continue to miss him.
The void of a parent will never be filled – however, with each day, his legacy lives on through me. I do my best to make him, the Phelps name, and our family proud.
This is my favorite photo of us. It’s grainy and scanned from an old newspaper, but it captures our relationship. He was always so proud, at times embarrassingly so, of us. I’m so thankful to have had a parent like that.
Love you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day in heaven. I hope you’re boating, playing ball, and having some Crown Royal while looking down on me.
As always, Happy Eating, Happy Traveling, Happy Living.
Y’all come back now, ya hear?
FTC: This post was not sponsored or compensated in any way.