Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Columns

June 11, 2014

Mark Maynard: Trying to shine like Dad: 6/12/14

ASHLAND — I’ve been traveling some lately and purchased a small can of shaving cream because, on flights, you’re only allowed so much liquid.

So I picked up a travel can of Gillette Foamy, figuring that would work as well as anything.

It’s funny how our senses work.

My sense of taste is probably the strongest because it just fans my big appetite. Everything tastes good (except peas, of course).

But it was my sense of smell that most recently caught my attention in a good way.

I was lathering up for a shave with the Gillette Foamy on a recent trip and was immediately reminded of my father, who used it, too.

I didn’t really remember that when I purchased the Gillette Foamy, but it took my sense of smell about a millisecond to be transported in time, where I was standing in our bathroom and watching Dad shave.

Dad always used a barber’s brush to spread the shaving cream on his face, and that aroma of Gillette Foamy was clearly the kind he used. Why else would my sense of smell immediately remind me of him?

It has been a dozen years since he died, but the memory of him and, more importantly, the things he taught me, have stayed fresh in my mind — just like that Gillete Foamy aroma.

We were always close and, not surprisingly, shared similar passions in life.

Dad loved the Reds, so I loved the Reds.

Dad loved watching sports, so I loved watching sports.

Dad loved serving God and church, so I loved serving God and church.

Do you see a pattern developing here?

Dad was always the one everyone called when they needed someone to pray at the PTA meeting or some other public function. As an aside to that, a friend sent me a Facebook photo on Tuesday of the 1946 Catlettsburg Junior-Senior Prom program.

Guess who gave the invocation?

Many thought he was a preacher because he prayed so much in public settings! It wasn’t that he was a great orator or delivered prayers that were always divinely inspired, but it spoke more about his witness to his faith that everybody saw. They recognized him for what he was, which was a strong man of God who made no apologies for it.

Who better to pray than Clarence Maynard?

He was an example to his family about what was important in life, too.

If it was Sunday, we were in church. It didn’t matter if it was Super (Bowl) Sunday. We were in church. When the church doors were open, we were in church.

Those are big footsteps to follow for a little guy, but I’ve tried and I hope he would be pleased with my effort, if nothing else, to follow his lead.

He’d be proud of his grandchildren (because he always was) and the adults they have become. He’d be proud of my brother, a Baptist preacher in Florida, and he’d be proud of me for trying to be like him.

I never wanted to “Be like Mike,” as the commercial urged us, but I always wanted to be like Dad.

Dad was always that person who stood in the gap, who did anything that anybody asked of him, a go-to person if there ever was one. People leaned on him when they needed a friend, or a prayer, or anything, knowing he was going to say yes. I suspect he was taken advantage of often because of his big servant’s heart, but he never worried about it. He knew his motivation.

My mother was right there with him, too, always understanding and patient, even though she knew he often took on too much. They formed an amazing team for more than 50 years of marriage and I know she misses him terribly each and every day. It’s tough when true love is separated by death. There’s no healing, no medicine that makes it better, not even time. It’s an emptiness with only precious memories on which to cling.

Mom holds on to those, as she should, as we all should. Dad would be proud of how she’s gracefully handled the separation even though her heart aches.

My dad is never far from my mind and heart either, even a dozen years later.

I do know this much: That odor from the travel can of Gillette Foamy was like a heavenly message from God as a reminder, with Father’s Day approaching on Sunday, of what a special dad I had.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

 

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