Daddy was walking away

21 07 2010

Today, I wish I were an artist. If I were an artist I would paint you a picture of a memory of my father that is etched in my brain.

It was probably about 45 degrees, although as a child I probably thought it was in the 20’s and my father had taken me hunting. We were not sitting in a deer blind waiting for the deer to come to us so we could shoot them as they grazed. We actually parked our car on the side of the road and hiked into the Sabine National Forest in hopes that we would come across a trophy buck, or doe, or, that day, even a trophy squirrel. The sight of a wild animal of any kind would have had me overjoyed. Unfortunately, we did not see any wild “game”. And I use the term “game” loosely. We didn’t even fire our guns. But I learned something that day about my father, which may be just now starting to show itself in my life. You see, that day, we got lost. That’s right, deep woods lost. Or at least, that’s how I remember it.

I can still smell the air of that day. It was overcast and cold. It was in December after my 10th birthday. I remember because my father still had his blue Oldsmobile company car. It was that blue Oldsmobile that we parked on Hwy. 87 just over the hill and around the bend from FM 3315 and went into the woods at about 7 o’clock in the morning. By lunchtime we were extremely lost. We had brought our lunch with us, so food wasn’t a problem, but as it started getting darker and colder, I could see my dad becoming more and more perplexed. We knew where we parked the car, but we just could not get back to that area. After what seemed like an eternity, we came out on a road that we recognized. The map shows where we came out and where we parked the car.

We were so relieved. We went back to the little gas station at the corner of FM 3315 and Hwy. 87 and began to thaw out. Of course, that’s what I did as a 10-year-old boy, but my 38-year-old father could not stay with us because he had to walk back to where the car had been left. Perhaps the most vivid memory of my father is him with his back to us trudging up the hill, with his hands stuffed into his pockets trying to stay warm and I knew everything was going to be alright as he walked away.

Looking back on that day, I realize that leading is not so much about facing a crowd and telling them how to live, but it’s more about turning your back to them and giving them someone to follow.

The people we love the most WILL have memories of us walking away. It is inevitable, but what will we be walking away to?

My dad walked away to go to work.
He walked away to help others.
He walked away to take my mother on dates.
He walked away to pray.
He walked away…
And led me to be more.

As you turn your back on those you love the most, where are you headed?
Today is my daddy’s birthday. He would have been 63 today. I hope he has a big birthday cookie in heaven.

Thank you, daddy, for leading me. Happy Birthday from your #1 son.



10 responses

21 07 2010
Rebekah Daigle Martin

What a beautiful thought!! True and inspiring. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for the post.

21 07 2010

Awesome, love it!

21 07 2010
Kay Miller


21 07 2010
Charlotte Daigle

Inspiring! Love you. Please, post to

21 07 2010
Brett Jones

JD, this is one of the best yet. You had great subject matter, your dad, but your command of the story is inspiring, too. You, sir, are a good communicator.

21 07 2010
Daniel Rivers


Man I really loved that. What a great memory of your dad and what a great reminder of what leaders do. Thanks for sharing.

21 07 2010
Jim Kilgore

Jonathan, loved the story. What a privilege it was to know your father. His desire to do the right thing, to be a Christian defined him to me. He had a way of cutting through the fluff and stating the obvious that was refreshing and seldom seen.

Happy Birthday to Bro. Skippy Daigle!

21 07 2010
Kristi Gonzales

Jonathan, this is amazing…i can remember many times in my life that your dad and mom walked to help my single mom and her two daughters…thanks you for sharing. Your family is truly one that exhibits the art of compassion!

21 07 2010
Bob & Nell Hanks

Jonathan, how timely, I was just thinking about your Dad this past week. How well do I remember when he had gotten a copy of Bob Dylan’s tape There’s A
Slow Train Coming, he could hardly wait to see me to play it and talk about how
the dude (Dylan) had received the Holy Ghost. It was a joyful time of fellowship
together. here again, He was walking away and to a spiritual awareness. We
loved your Mom and Dad dearly. They are true Christians. I MISS HIM !!!

19 08 2010
Dan Weaver

Your Dad would be so proud!

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