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Taking Time to Remember

I don’t think anything really prepares you for the passing of a parent, especially one you were close with. This even applies when you have time to mentally prepare as their days are drawing short, as was the case with my Father.

As I got my thoughts in order to pen my column for the beginning of August, the first thing that came to me was Happy Birthday, Dad. If my Father were still with us, he would have turned 78 on August the 2nd. It’s beyond belief that this October will mark ten years since he left us.

I realize and understand the blessing it was to have my Father with me as long as I did. I wish I would have been a better son and not butted heads with him as much as I did. This especially applies to the business world and us working together. I think any family members that work together can understand this.

I wish I would have spent more time with him doing things he enjoyed. This includes playing golf and going racing when he would ask me. He loved both hill climbs and going fast around the track. Both of which made me nervous thinking of him doing so. But I should have made the time to attend; of course, that also means I would be recruited into his pit crew.

Back to the golfing thing, I just didn’t have the patience for the sport at that point in my life, nor do I have it now. It might have also been that after working together with Dad, we needed to take a little break from each other. He was very tough on me, and the older I get, the better I understand.

My Father loved baseball. The love of the game goes back generations within the Webb family and continues to carry on. We shared special days together as I was in the outfield and my Dad managed the team. We had a lot of fun, won a lot of baseball games, and ate a lot of Pudgies Pizza. He was tough on me on the diamond also. I remember a time I ignored a bunt sign and hit a double that drove in the tying run, me being the game-winner standing on 2nd. Before I could even think about taking the next step, I was gone. My Dad couldn’t call time fast enough; I should say my Manager couldn’t call time fast enough to get me out of the game for ignoring that bunt sign. As he was coaching 3rd and I passed him, he had his arms crossed, just glaring at me. I knew better than to make eye contact as he was red hot. I also knew not to swing through the bunt sign again. Incidentally, we scored the winning run two pitches later, which helped with my Dad’s mood. All I got was, “You know better than that; I bet you never do it again.” Which was a win in my mind as I thought it was going to be much worse.

My Father and I had a special bond over baseball, which continued on with his grandsons. He loved watching them play and sharing the game with them. My Dad had aged and, of course, as most old coaches do, mellowed out a little bit. Him and Jimmy had a very special relationship, and of course, Dad would always give me the coaching advice. Hunter was still young, but he definitely saw his potential. Those were very special days in the Webb house.

That is the one thing I miss most since my Dad’s passing — him being a grandfather to Hunter and Jimmy. There have been so many milestones in their lives that I would have loved to have him see. He would have been so proud.

It goes without saying I have also missed being able to call my Dad and ask for his advice regarding my children, business, and life in general. He had a great ability to break things down and provide advice or a solution to a problem. This usually culminated over a cup of coffee with a conversation. As we both grew older, either he became better at explaining things, or I became a better listener.

I would love to have his take on the Biden administration and all the goings on over the last three years. I guarantee he would be even more fired up than when I swung through that bunt sign. That leads me to thanking everyone that continues to share stories with me about my Father. Through this, I’ve learned many things about him I didn’t know.

I also appreciate those that compare our writing styles. Quite honestly, Dad was a much better writer than I am. I’ve done the best I can in filling some pretty big shoes. I have often wondered how he would coach me up on my articles.

As I began my journey through life, I took time for granted. I believe this is somehow built into our human nature, so we don’t worry about mortality.

Most of us hope for a long journey with family, kids, grandkids, and even great-grandkids and that we have plenty of time here on God’s green Earth to share with each other.

My Father always told me the older you get; the faster the years fly by. He was right on with this piece of advice. I am now going to take it a step further. Please do not allow all the distractions and nonsense of today’s world to take your peace and waste your time. Make your time count and spend it with your loved ones, even if it may require doing something you really don’t want to.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb