I met my dad for dinner at the Little America truck stop in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I have to tell you, he’s a miracle. Tonight he was full of life again, walking like it was no big deal, being the funny guy with lots of great comebacks and quips, being a tour guide for Andy and I for the airforce base and Frontier Days. We ate steaks, made fun of cowboys and laughed for more than 3 hours. Then he drove the 2 1/2 hours back home. That means he drove 5 hours to spend 3 with me.

But that’s just the way he is.

This is a bigger deal than just giving him an excuse to listen to a few books on tape on the open road. Even as little as a year ago, the man was practically a cripple. Just three years ago he was in a wheelchair. But he’s back with a force, and I love it.

He brought a pennant for my boys to hang on the garage wall. He smiled like I haven’t seen him in a long time. He cared for our life situations and continually focused me back to God. I don’t know, it was like … well, he was never gone or anything … but he’s back.

There’s a passion for the people in his church as a pastor, there’s a passion for his community as a judge, there’s passion for his wife as a husband. And most importantly, there’s a passion for his family as a dad.

I love my dad more than anyone else in the world (just kidding, mom). He’s the single most influential person in my life, if anything good comes of it it can be attributed to God and him. I’ve been given a gift of the most godly, loving parents in the world, an honor which so many aren’t priviledged to have.

I just wanted you … and him … to know that. Love you, dad.