The Incredible Man Of The Welliver Family We Call Dad

Monday greetings to you all!

I hope everyone has had an enjoyable week since last week’s post and was able to soak up some sunshine amidst the crazy rain and wind that Mother Nature decided to mix in as well. It’s hard to believe that we are already entering the third week of June and that we will be looking at July 1st in just a few short days. But like, seriously though. Where is the time flying to? It’s literally insane.

A few weeks ago we got to celebrate the holiday of Mother’s Day and just yesterday, we got to follow it up with the counterpart holiday for those special men in our life…

Ding! Ding! You are correct!


And as you all continue to read today’s blog post, I’d just like to take a moment and wish all the fathers out there in the world–past, present, and future a very happy and belated by one day Father’s Day…this also includes those fathers who are no longer with us. All of you are (and have been and continue to be) pioneers in the world around us with your support, guidance, and compassion. And we couldn’t be more thankful for that!

And…with that being said, I’d like to extend a HUGE happy Father’s Day to my ever amazing and incredible Dad! Without him, I wouldn’t have inherited any type of tall gene…haha. But in all seriousness, there are many aspects of my life that he has helped to mold and shape who I am today and that is what I hope to express in this week’s post.

I guess it’s always good to start at the beginning since it always seems to be the most logical place to start. But alas, I don’t want to be logical this week. So, please put your arms and legs inside the car and buckle your seat belts…because we are not starting at the beginning.

On the evening of October 21st, I was at rehearsal at EPAC for the December production of Beauty and the Beast. I had just been with my parents earlier in the day for lunch after church and remember my dad looking pale, weak, and not at all like himself. It was very out of the blue because my dad is a healthy person who visits the gym regularly, walks the dogs on the daily, and is active at his full-time job and also at home around the house. Something just didn’t seem right. And sure enough, that evening around 6pm, I got a text from my mom letting me know that they were headed to the ER.

In just a moment, everything had changed. My sudden mood was shifted to extreme concern and worry. It was the fear of the unknown. Not knowing that to expect, what to think, or what was wrong. It was absolutely terrifying.

Needless to say, it was a moment in my life where I realized that nothing can ever be taken for granted and that we must all learn to say “I love you” and “I appreciate you in my life” as often as possible because we never know when those opportunities will be taken away.

Today, my dad is just about back to 100%, feeling great, and as active as ever. I’ve told him that he’s not allowed to scare us like that again, especially since his wife passed along her worry wart gene to me too!

My dad is an extremely intelligent man. He is definitely the person that I could see giving Ken Jennings a run for him money on Jeopardy! He seems to have so much knowledge about everything, even the most random of facts, which I think sparks from his joy of reading books constantly and just seeking out knowledge about all types of topics through different facets of research. I feel like I always buy him books for his birthday, Father’s Day, and any other holiday that involves gift giving; however, I’ve recently started to get him on the fun sock kick. You’re welcome, dad.

Just a random fun side note for you…my dad does much better with calling me JP than Mama Welliver does. She is still on the Johnny train!

It hasn’t always been the easiest to connect with my dad and when I became open about my sexuality, it was definitely a point of tension in our relationship. He was not as vocal about it when it was brought to the forefront—it seemed like more disappoint than anything that was expressed with little actual vocalization.

But after some open conversation, questions, and seeking to understand each other’s perspective, we worked through the tension and have become much stronger as a father and son, which I couldn’t be more thankful for.

My dad is someone who has been at all the concerts, shows, award ceremonies and anything that a parent could attend through elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and even present day. He is the one that usually gets the lucky task of being the chauffeur of my mom to these events, which I know he enjoys very much. I can’t tell you how much it means to a son having the privilege to see parents in the audience supporting each endeavor that I undertake in life There are no real words to describe it, but it is something that gives my soul warmth and joy.

Another fun side note…dad can drive really slow when he chauffeurs. Sometimes, I secretly want him to put the pedal to the medal…just a bit!

My dad is the one who is responsible for my tall gene. And even though I still feel like I’m growing and that my pants get shorter each time I put them on, he still beats me out by about an inch or two. Give it another year or two and I’ll be the tallest Welliver boy in the family.

My dad is the one that is responsible for helping me create a budget in life and to always think through a purchase first before I make it. (The new car that I bought a month ago doesn’t count).

My dad is the one that is responsible for my OCD craziness with grammar and double checking every email, blog post, letter, or other entity that I write. All those years of him marking up the rough drafts of my papers really paid off!

My dad is the one that is responsible for helping me all the little bits of advice and guidance that I need on house projects, repairs, 401Ks, car trouble, or basically anything that falls under the category of “adulting.” He is always there to offer his two cents and give me a fair, honest opinion when needed.

Dad—thank you for always being there to support me through it all. Thank you for passing down your tall gene, for always coming out to watch my shows even if they are ones that don’t excite you, and for pushing me to always put 110% into everything that I undertake. Thank you for being an integral part of my musical life and sharing the gift of your tenor voice whenever I need it.

Two moments that I will never forget as long as I live was hearing how proud you were of me when I completed my 46 hours at THON during my senior year at college. The second is seeing you cheer me on during the first year of the Hope Express when I was running my last leg up the hill and I was struggling. But halfway up the hill, I saw you and mom cheering me on and it filled me with such joy and energy that it kept me going.

Thank you for taking time to seek and understand my sexuality. I know it wasn’t easy and I know that it still has both scary and rough moments for you, but it is something that I can’t put into words with how much I appreciate it and how much it means to me.

In the past year, I’ve watched you lose both of your parents and while I know that it has been a personal struggle for you at times, you have never given up on me or your family. You continue to support us, love us, and guide us through the trying times called life.

I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that you are my dad. Thank you for being one heck of an incredible man in the Welliver family…and joining me and Will on the fun sock train.

Sprinkle sunshine always,