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In his book Sons: a Father’s Love Bob Carlisle shares this incident that happened with his Father. “When I was 12, a surprising thing happened. Dad asked me to go fishing with him. He was a busy executive, rarely around on weekends. We got along but never had a serious conversation unless I was in trouble at school. I was flattered.

“On Saturday we headed for the marina, rented a boat and found a promising spot. Once we were settled, Dad said, ‘Son, I can see that you’re changing from a boy to a man and that’s a good thing. But I think you may also find this to be a confusing time.’

“Dad proceeded with the coming-of-age-talk. At times he groped for words, but he didn’t miss a thing. When he’d finished, I sat there, feeling the movement of the boat and the wind in my hair, wondering if I was dreaming. ‘Dad,’ I said, ‘having you talk to me like this is what I’ve always wanted, but I didn’t think you’d want to.’

“He smiled and shook his head. ‘I’ve always had a hard time talking to you kids. But I want you to know I care about you, that I’m here if you need to talk to me about anything.’ I don’t remember if we caught any fish that day. I do remember finding out for the first time that my dad really was my friend” [--Carlisle, Bob. Sons: A Father’s Love (Word, 1999), quoted in Men of Integrity, Vol. 3 No. 3 p. 47.].

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