Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Fatherless Father's Day

In my family holidays have always been a pretty big deal. Mother's Day and Father's Day rank high on our scale of important holidays, and that goes for our whole family - not just for my sister and I. My parents always make it a point to call their moms and dads and wish them a happy day.

Father's Day is a little strange for me this year. Why? Well, it so happens that I'm missing my father. My mom and dad are currently volunteering their time at Campus by the Sea, a family camp out of Catalina Island. They will be there for a majority of the summer. It's really cool, and I am so ecstatic for them...and it makes celebrating today slightly difficult. See, they don't have cell service which means I won't be able to call my dad. They don't have internet, so there's a good chance he won't even read this for a few days until he can get to a cafe in Avalon, the city one cove over from CBS.

I figure the least I can do to honor my dad today is to write about how thankful I am for him.

My dad has made me who I am today. Without him, I would not at all be the same person.
  • My dad taught me the value of teamwork, and the value of leadership. The last year that I played little league baseball I was on the Phillies, and my dad was the coach. Our team consisted mostly of misfits and players that hadn't been picked by other coaches for better teams. My dad did more than coach us that year - he gave us hope and encouraged us to believe in ourselves. We went undefeated the entire season, made it to the championship game, went into extra innings, and barely lost by one run. It was the best season of any sport I have ever played.
  • My dad has taught me the value of money, and the value of spending money. "Food tastes better when you share it" is something my dad taught me early on, and it is so true. I've watched my dad build entire businesses from the ground up. I've seen him spend incredible amounts of money on his campaigns, and help save other candidate's campaigns with mere pennies. I've prayed with my dad for money to come in, and I can't count the amount of times a mysterious check has arrived on our doorstep or a friend has walked up and handed my family money out of the blue. I've helped my dad spend ungodly amounts of money at the movies, just because that's a part of the experience. What would a movie without popcorn and milk duds be, anyways?
  • My dad has modeled love for me, in the most valuable ways. He's taught me how a gentleman acts, and how to treat ladies. He's shown me what a great marriage looks like with my mom. His ever growing love for her never ceases to amaze me. He's been verbal in his love towards me, speaking to me in my love language of words of encouragement.
  • My dad has shown me the value of growth. He calls it being a "lifetime learner." That is, the type of person that never stops absorbing new truths and never ceases growing. In many ways my dad is a completely different man then he was even 10 years ago.
  • My dad has taught me the art of humor. When I was 5 or 6 we watched Austin Powers together. Multiple times. Need I say more?
  • My dad has shown me that anything is possible. I've watched him inspire people to do things they never thought possible, and I've been on the receiving end of that inspiration. He often reminds me that "it's not what you know, it's who you know." If you know my dad, you're two degrees away from everybody else in the entire world. When he says something can happen, I know better then to doubt him by now.
  • My dad has set the best example for what a personal relationship with Christ can look like.

My dad has impacted me more than any other human being on this planet. He has believed in me when few others have, and he has loved me when I've been at my absolute lowest. We've been through the hell of losing my brother and losing my grandma, and we've been there for each other. My dad has always been there for me.

My dad, Dennis Mansfield, is the finest man I know. I aspire to be like him, and I am honored to call him my father.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.


  1. Love it buddy. I feel like I've been there since the beginning.

  2. @Vince Thanks buddy :) In more ways then one you have been!

  3. Colin, what a beautiful post and such a nice tribute to your Dad. I have to add as well, that your Daddy was the BEST big brother a girl could EVER have. I learned so much about life from him many years ago and I still enjoy watching him as he attacks life's challenges. He is a wonderful encourager and I am blessed to call him my brother, my friend. Love, Janet