Jason B. Ladd

Author | Apologist | Entrepreneur

A Father’s Legacy: Memories From a Thankful Son

father jason cliff

My father stood on two hands.

I cried.  He didn’t know it, but I was crying.  I was eight.

He was performing one of his trademark hand stands near a rock ledge in the Sierra Nevadas.  My father was a gymnast.  My father was a Marine.

My father is my hero.

My father taught me how to ride a bike, how to swing a bat, and how to run with all my might.

He taught me how to wrestle, how to fish, and how to get strong doing pull-ups.

He taught to me to love our country,

and to have compassion for our wounded warriors.

He taught me how to stand at attention during the National Anthem and how to salute the flag.

He taught me how drive a car, how to run three miles, and how to survive in the water if lost at sea (the “dead man’s float”).

My father played catch with me.  He watched movies with me.  He built models with me.

He taught me how to love.

He taught me how to hate injustice.  He taught me the value of a dollar and the importance of a work ethic.

My father showed me how to serve my country.

My father told me I brought him great joy.

He is a man of few words.  He makes them count.

I love my father.  I have always felt his love for me.

If I lose my father, I will lose a lot.

That’s why I cried when he stood on two hands.

Why have you cried?

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About Jason B. Ladd

Jason is an author, speaker, Marine, and father of seven. He has flown the F/A-18 Hornet as a Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron 1 (MAWTS-1) Instructor Pilot and the F-16 as an Instructor Pilot. His award-winning book One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview has been optioned for film adaptation. He is represented by Julie Gwinn of The Seymour Agency.

43 Replies

  1. aliceandmolly

    My father meant the world to me. I cried when he left us and again when he passed away. I cried for the times that we “lost.” Such a beautiful dedication to your father.

    1. Thank you for sharing. Happy Father’s Day.

  2. Caroline

    Your Father was obviously a great guy and it’s obvious he taught you how to be that too. Very nice.

    1. Thank you for the kind words.

  3. Aunt Kristine

    Love it…very nice 🙂
    and Happy Fathers Day to you too.

  4. Ariane

    Jason – I agree, your Father is an amazing man. It’s so touching to see how his integrity affected you. Happy Father’s Day to you as well.

    1. Thank you. That means a lot coming from one of two fine parents!

  5. Kathleen Moore

    This is a beautiful tribute. Clearly he’s an amazing man and the apple has not fallen far from that tree. Blessings!

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      He surely is. I am blessed.

    2. He surely is. I am blessed.

  6. A Morning Grouch

    Oh my, beautiful – and the two hands part is such a tiny part of the writing, but such a powerful emotional experience! wow.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you. I’m glad you connected with it. – Jason

    2. Thank you. I’m glad you connected with it! -Jason

  7. Gypsy Bev

    My Dad was an example of what a man should be. He cared for me no matter what the situation. I cried when he was diagnosed with cancer. He is gone now but never forgotten.

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      Thank you for sharing your story.

    2. Thank you for sharing your story.

  8. hi-d

    This was beautiful.Tell your Dad as often as you can how much he means to you! I just lost my Dad, and I feel like I am dying inside from the pain. He was not just my Daddy, but my friend. I know life goes on… but I just don’t want to.

    Sounds to me like your dad did a wonderful job with you. 🙂

    1. jason.b.ladd@gmail.com

      I will tell him tomorrow, most assuredly. I feel for your loss.

    2. I will tell him tomorrow, most assuredly. I feel for your loss.

  9. Wow. Sounds like a great man of God. Was he also a pilot

  10. A. Zych

    Great tribute to your father, yes I have cried it was last year when my Grandpa took his last breathe. I held his hand close to my heart and in amazement I watch him go freely onto the next chapter of his spiritual life. The tears were of joy and sadness because I knew he would be at peace but I would miss him every time I would soon reached a milestone I would share with him.I do take great comfort in knowing his is guiding me from the other side and that when my time comes he will be there waiting for me.

    Thanks for letting me share with you, I look forward to more of your great posts.

    1. Thank you for the story. I think about my grandfather who passed away often. Look forward to seeing him again. -Jason

  11. Jennifer

    wonderfully done! that bond between a parent and child is so special. also – thanks for stopping by my blog and liking “grandpas are the best!” i appreciate it. 🙂

  12. when i ride

    Beautifully written. My son is a Marine and I hope he will be that kind of father to his new daughter.

    1. I’m sure he will. Semper Fi!

  13. Donna

    I cried!

    When my father died!
    But I smile
    With his happy memories.

    I can see that your father means a lot to you. Enjoy his being.

    Thanks for stopping by my site.

  14. Shannon Anderson

    My husband is a Marine who served in Desert Shield and Desert Storm as a helicopter pilot. When he left, we had a five month old son. He returned when our son was ten months old and didn’t know his dad. I cried then for the lost time he and our son had missed and for the beautiful reunion they had when he returned. That same little boy is now serving in the US Navy. He’s been away from home for five months. I miss him and so does his dad. I cried tears of joy and pride when he ws sworn in. Your post reminds me of the special bond my husband and my son share and the understanding they have of each other through their service. Thanks for these words. Thank you also for visiting my blog the other day. (southernrootsandnorthernblossoms) I know I’ll be back to visit yours often.

    1. Shannon, My father was a helicopter pilot as well. Thank you for sharing your story.

  15. Tiffany

    Beautifully written. Made me feel very patriotic….and I’m British!

    I served in the Royal Navy but retired early due to injury and ill health. There’s something wonderful about the Military. I know there are good and bad times, highs and lows, happy and sad experiences, but to join the Military, to train and work alongside others, often in difficult circumstances, requires a certain type of person, and a certain type of attitude. There’s something special about putting yourself forward to serve others and your country, that makes us guardians of our communities, our countries, and our way of life.

    1. Thank you for your service! There is significant sacrifice involved with serving your country. There are also many rewards that come with serving a grateful nation.

  16. burqaj

    I have certainly missed my father…thank you for sharing with me about yours. He sounds like a wonderful example of father, husband, and man.

  17. ForKnott

    Beautifully written, beautifully said…with so much love and respect. Thank you and your father for your sacrifices. God bless you both.

  18. Eric

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
    ~ Eric
    I love my father too. He passed a few years ago at an old age and he’d led a commendable life. We were sad at his passing; but even then he brought blessing to his family. Fathers are a joy an this is what we must always recall about the good fathers and celebrate this with them while they are with us.

    1. Eric, Thanks a lot for your comment. Men and fathers often get a bad wrap these days. But there are a lot of good ones out there. There is no substitute for a father and a mother.


    Fantastic expression! Keep being who you are and doing what you do, my brother!

    1. Thanks for the reading, and for the encouragment!

  20. Tim

    Beautifully written man!

    1. Thanks, Tim. Appreciate you stopping by.

  21. Elaine

    Lovely tribute to your wonderful Dad! Happy Father’s day to both of you and thank you both for your service! Semper fi.