My family has never made a big to-do about holidays like Mother’s Day & Father’s Day. I mean, we always took the time to write a card or tell them they were appreciated, but I don’t remember ever being like those families in the commercials that buy something really expensive for the respective parent for said day. Not because we didn’t love them enough, but my parents are probably the most down-to-earth people possible. They’ve always valued quality time over any stuff, and because of that I have a plethora of memories to always cherish and look back on, even if we never achieved the most epic children-to-parent gift. I said a few words about my Mom last month, and following suit, I wanted to share a little bit about my Dad today.
My Dad’s name is Rein Oswald Bontreger, and is probably the most fitting person possible for such a unique string of names. He’s one of the most creative and imaginative people you’ll ever meet (which lent itself to GREAT bedtime stories as kids – complete with ongoing stories of consistent made-up characters like Mr. McTavish & Robby the Robin) and has no shortage of energy to pour into serving people. He’s owned his own business for nearly 30 years, serving faithfully, tirelessly and joyfully. He’s terrible at saying no, even when it means taking on way too much work for the hours given in a day or week, because he truly does want to give as much as he can to as many as possible. He was my first employer, and the days of getting to joke and work alongside him, playing iPod wars and always complaining about each other’s music will always be some of my favorite memories. I owe much of what I know (and the initial courage to do so) about starting my own business to him and his example.
Dad is deep, wise and intentional; vibrant, hilarious and fun. He has the most unique and contagious laugh, can find common ground with anyone, strike up a conversation with incredible ease, and make people feel welcomed and appreciated like few others I know. He has an unashamed love for tie-died t-shirts, all things sci-fi, and most importantly a passion for the Lord that trumps all other things in his life. It’s because of his faithful guidance and always pointing us to wisdom that my siblings and I grew up knowing how to seek the Lord and discern what that practically means on a daily basis. I’m grateful for endless conversations about faith and growth and his quickness to ALWAYS stop and pray. My Dad doesn’t just say he’ll be praying FOR you, he stops and prays WITH you. That is something that deeply shaped my life growing up and is something I want to continue to live out in my own life.
Dad, thank you for all of the ways you’ve loved and invested in me – one of the “burdens” you “gladly bear”. ;) I’m so grateful to call you Dad, and friend. So grateful for all of the movies watched with you, nicknames given by you (yes, even Ticky V), concerts attended with you, prayers prayed with you, and moments of laughter. Thanks for always loving Mom well, and displaying what faithful, healthy marriage looks like. I could not have hoped for a more amazing Dad, or family environment to grow up in. Love you so much.
Happy Father’s Day, friends! I hope it’s a wonderful weekend of quality time for you and your Dads and other special Father-figures in your life!