If The Cape Fits…

This weekend we celebrate fathers and I get to share the story of Superman.

My wife’s dad was killed in a car accident when she was just six years old. Russ left behind a wife and four kids including Polly. Her only real memory of her father is of him rubbing her back in front of the living room fireplace. “I can still feel it today,” she says with a smile.

Her mother eventually remarried. Tim became Polly’s stepdad. A few short years later, the unthinkable happened…her mother died of breast cancer. Four kids; both parents lost. Tim was all they had. Polly couldn’t have known it at the time, but her life was at a crossroads. Her future in his hands. The decisions he would make after losing his second wife to cancer would shape who she would become.

In time, Tim fell in love with Barb who had three kids of her own. How strange was this? Polly remained in the same house this entire time, only now with a different set of parents. You could understand if this didn’t go well for her. It’s hard enough being a teenage girl; imagine dealing with all of this grief and uncertainty.

And what about Tim? This was not his plan. He had his own adult children and responsibilities. He had a business to build; a living to make. He could have been a distant, cold, even somewhat bitter man. Instead, he chose a more noble path. This hard-working, greatest-generation-era veteran made a decision. In fact, there was never any doubt what he would do. He would do his best. He would put her first. He would be her dad.

Love comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. ~ 1 Timothy 1:5

For the past 17 years I have been blessed to call Tim dad too. Along with a wonderful sense of humor, he has a spirit about him; an undeniable inner-strength. It’s clear to me that God chose him and he has been richly rewarded. Tim is 88-years old. He has an amazing wife, 11 children, 21 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, and a lifetime of memories. Few are related by blood, yet when I look around the room during the chaos of holiday get-togethers, I see brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and cousins. I see Mom and Dad. I see a celebration of love; the very definition of family.

One man held it all together when life fell apart.

Dad would hate being called Superman…..

but if the cape fits…

11 responses to “If The Cape Fits…”

  1. What an amazing Fathers Day story. Many fathers could take a few lesson from Tim. Thank you Polly for allowing your husband to share your story. Hopefully it will inspire some other father who is on the brink of decision to make the right decision, to just follow his heart like Tim did.

  2. Being the sibling of Polly and also growing up in such a sombering set of life events, Tim was our SAVIOR!
    I love him more than anything, and have great respect and adoration for the man whom raised my sister and I when he most definitely could have walked away and sent us to resume life with relatives! He is our “Super dad” and I tell him how much I love and appreciate what he has done for us Ordway kids as often as possible! I actually wrote a story about him back in my WMU days much like this, and glad to see he continues to receive amazing devotional stories about his place in our hearts and lives! He will always be one of the most inspirational people I have ever come to know in this lifetime! Thanks Curt for giving him the credit he so justly deserves! xoxoxo

  3. Ah, my amazing Beeba! As one of the many grandkids, I can confirm this story 🙂 Tim Clagett is simply an amazing man! In a world where so many become bitter, angry and jaded when affected by life’s tragedies, Beeba persists in admiring the beauty of life, loving immeasurably and laughing endlessly. Truthfully, I could not admire him more. Thanks for putting to paper the legacy of this amazing man!

  4. Great stuff about the man and the family. Growing up around this family I was privey to see the warmth and the love that surrounds Tim and Barb and all the kids.
    Thanks Curt

  5. Dear Curt,
    Thanks for writing so beautifully about Dad and for putting into such eloquent words what we have all been thinking. We truly are blessed to have such a wonderful man as our Dad.
    Love, Pat (Dad’s “oldest daughter” as he never forgets to introduce me as!)

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