Kim Henderson – A dad’s sacrifice

MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Tuesday, August 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Commentator Kim Henderson with a hat-tip for dads.

KIM HENDERSON, COMMENTATOR: In June I looked for it there among the Hallmarks and Daysprings but couldn’t find it. Nope, not in the humorous, the religious, or even the blank section. 

Not surprising, though, when you consider that the Father’s Day card I was seeking was pretty specific—one with a picture of a 1988 Chevrolet Blazer on the front. To be exact, one with a candy-apple red, two-door Blazer on the front. 

Any time I think of one I go back to when my husband and I had just graduated from college and landed jobs. Our first order of business? Replace the aging Monte Carlo sitting in our apartment complex parking space. “We need something more reliable,” we convinced ourselves.  And a bit easier on the eyes, too, if we’d been honest.

My husband headed straight to a hometown dealership where a man named Boochie (I’m not kidding) drew up the papers on a factory-fresh Chevy Blazer boasting cruise control and power windows and doors. It was the stuff of our yuppie dreams, and, unknown to us, the only brand-new vehicle we’d probably ever drive off a lot, thanks to Dave Ramsey. At the time, though, we 20-somethings revelled in the pristine interior, the double-digit odometer reading and, of course, the matchless new car smell.     

But a few flips of calendar pages later, Son No. 1 was on the way. We had to make some tough decisions in order to prepare for life on one paycheck, and my husband’s beloved Blazer (and its accompanying coupon book) would have to go. I do not recall a single complaint.

That first year as a stay-at-home mom held many delights, but some of our best outings, without doubt, involved the city zoo. Baby and I would meet friends for picnics, ride the train, gawk at the giraffes. I loved pushing a stroller, and the baby loved riding in one.

Inevitably, we’d pass by a fence near the zoo’s offices. (Did I mention the zoo director was the one who saw the ad in the paper and was there on our couch when my husband signed over a certain car title?)    

So each time Son No. 1 and I strolled our way past the flamingos, I could look through the fence and see that Chevy Blazer shining red, sitting curbside at the main office. I had a vivid reminder of what my husband gave up so his son could have a full-time mom and I could have the job of my dreams. For me, that Chevy is a symbol of a whole conglomeration of sacrifices my husband has made for his children.

And while many of us can be thankful for what our dads have given us—go-karts, ballet lessons, straight teeth, a college education—it might be good to acknowledge something entirely different—what they’ve given up for us.

So to all you dads who think the sacrifices are worth it, thanks. We owe you more than we’ll probably ever know, and certainly more than any card can express.     

For WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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One comment on “Kim Henderson – A dad’s sacrifice

  1. Doug says:

    Thank you for this story. I have been hunkered down in my basement now for six months where I can thankfully continue to work in support of my family and the community around me. It’s been a challenge and has felt very isolating at times. Hearing this message expressed to dads who are striving to support their families was an encouragement to me.

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