Today is Father’s Day. I am in Jerusalem and my father is in the US. I could buy him a necktie or a subscription to the Limbaugh Letter, but I figured the best gift I could give him is to tell the world (or the small slice that will see this blog) what an awesome father he is. (Right now, he is thinking, Would it hurt for you to throw in the Limbaugh Letter too?)
I miss him
In the past twenty years we have become very close. It was not always like that. My father is very shy and I was a hyperactive, somewhat out of control, young man. I was arrested a few times, partied endlessly, and made horrible grades. He was a hardworking businessman who provided a comfortable life for our family, but we just didn’t have a lot in common.
Of course it didn’t help when I announced to my Jewish parents: “I found Jesus!” As a new believer I was incredibly insensitive to how my embracing Yeshua as the Jewish Messiah affected my family.
Becoming Best Friends
However, something truly amazing happened as I entered adulthood. Slowly, over a period of years, we became friends. In fact, I now consider him my best friend. When we lived in Ukraine in 1998—before skype—I longed to be with him. I would find myself daily have nostalgic feelings about our relationship.
It is much easier now. We can talk and see each other on Skype. Plus, I am in Richmond three times a year.
Many of you will never get to know my father, so let me take a moment and share what I love about him.
- He is funny! Only his closest friends know this, because he doesn’t enjoy big crowds. But he is master of the one-liners. In one failed effort to get him to see things my way I proclaimed with great vigor to him and my mother that “The King is alive.” My father, without missing a beat, countered, “HE IS! ELVIS IS ALIVE!”
- He loves my mother. In my 47 years I have never seen them fight—bicker, sure—but fight, NEVER!
- He ran up Masada in his forties!
- When he had to withdraw after 23 miles in the Richmond Marathon, he trained again and finished it the next year! I was so proud! (Thirty years later we ran the 8K in the same race together and then Univ or Richmond 10K Turkey Trot!)
- Following 9-11, after being a life-long democrat he ‘converted’ and now we have so much more to talk about. Though he drives my mother crazy, “Did hear what Rush said today?”
- At 72, he started a massive garden in Goochland County. He goes out daily to cultivate it. Tongue in check, he quipped, “Glenn says we have to ready to survive when the world falls apart.”
- He is a great father-n-law to Elana and grandfather to my daughters.
- He always says yes, when I ask him to do me a favor.
- Elana says he is the calmest person she knows.
- He loves to cook steak and eat together, just the two us when I am town.
There you have it! Ten things you didn’t know about Phil Cantor.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you! Thanks for being my friend.