This blog entry is a tribute to my grandfather Pat Joyner and the legacy he helped create! This excerpt has been adapted from my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most. Pat was my grandfather and an incredible man of integrity! Although he is no longer alive, I love him and everything he stood for. Everyone should have a “Pat” in their lives!
My grandfather was the first male figure that appeared on the scene. His name was Pat, and he was the father of my mother. He was a man of truth and integrity, living his life in such a way that what he said matched up with how he lived. We had “man-to-man” talks, rides in his car, and rides on his lap. I remember, as well as a 5-year old can remember, looking up into his eyes and wanting to be just like him. He invited me to go with him everywhere. It was the ideal mentoring relationship, where I was experiencing what it was like to be a “real man.” It didn’t seem weird at the time, but as I look back at it, many fathers, and especially grandfathers, didn’t provide the kind of insight and access to their life that Pat did for me.
I was proud of Pat, and he was proud of me. He took me – his only grandson and a fatherless one at that – and lived his life before me. Pat took me to play golf before the days of Tiger Woods and child prodigies. At the time, it was rare for a country club to allow a youngster on the course, because it might slow up the game for others. Pat told the suspicious officials at the club that I was his caddy and ball watcher. He insisted that I ride in the cart so that I could give him advice on shots and help him find his ball. I knew I could help him find his golf balls, but at the time, I wasn’t so sure about being a caddy. I didn’t know the difference between a fade and a draw, much less what club to use in different situations. At the age of 8, the biggest club in the bag looks like the perfect club to use on every shot. He would also let me hit balls on the course during our rounds together.
He provided the kind of instruction that is priceless – because of its content and its intent. He was a true coach in golf and in life with the goal of helping me become all that God intended me to become, regardless of the cards I had been dealt.
We had bathroom moments where he taught me how to shave. I remember watching him get ready for work and shaving with a blade. I asked him one day if I could shave too. Instead of some hurried and nervous reply about the dangers of using a blade and the urgency of his schedule, he replied emphatically, “Sure!” He removed the blade from the steel razor and demonstrated which way to hold the razor. I lathered up with enough shaving cream for 3 men to shave and proceeded to act like a real man who was experiencing a rite of passage. He laughed in amusement at the show before him. This was life! Real life! Not some semblance of an existence, but a connection made head to head and heart to heart.
It was the life that I knew. I never once looked back on the day that my dad disappeared. It was what it was. The people who reappeared from behind the curtain stepped in and played a part I could never repay. Pat had faith. Faith in God. Faith in me. And that faith permeated everything I did and all of who I was becoming. This faith was real and authentic. Pat, you made an investment that was eternal and left a legacy of boys that I know you would be proud of!
You can discover more stories and principles about fully engaging in your life and making the most of your opportunities in my book Moments: Making Your Life Count For What Matters Most.
Question: Who has made an impact in your life? What have you learned from them? You can leave a comment by clicking here.