Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | May 23, 2012

On Fathers and Sons

Mesa Verde to Leadville, Colorado

I am fortunate to be married to a wonderful woman. A few months ago when I was working on plans for my sabbatical, Cheryl and I discussed several options that we felt would help me to find rest and renewal. We finally settled on something that we thought would be just perfect for me. Cheryl encouraged me to spend time with my Dad and with my son, in addition to pursuing some other personal growth and renewal objectives for my sabbatical. I can’t begin to express how grateful I am for the way Cheryl has encouraged me through this whole journey. I have enjoyed sharing with her every evening about my time with Dad.

Today, Dad and I drove eight of the most scenic hours on our road trip. Every mile of the way was filled with the most beautiful vistas. As we drove down the Million Dollar Highway between Silverton and Ouray, Dad must have taken three-hundred pictures. He could not stop exclaiming about the beauty of the scenery. Just watching him enjoy himself kept a smile on my face. And then to make the day even better, my cousin Bob Havice drove down from Steamboat Springs to have dinner with us in Leadville. Bobby has been a personal hero since I was a kid. He is an outfitter, ski instructor, and movie stuntman (he was in the latest release of Planet of the Apes). We had a great evening with Bobby. I was deeply moved when he kissed my Dad on the forehead and embraced him as we said our good-byes.

Today, however, is special for another reason. Twenty-eight years ago my son Jonathan was born. Cheryl and I chose to name our son Jonathan because it means “gift from God” in Hebrew, and also because Jonathan is one of our favorite guys in the Bible. We consider Jonathan a gift from God. After I drive Dad back to his home, Jonathan and I will begin our final preparations for the Texas Water Safari in June. I am thrilled beyond words that Jonathan has allowed me the opportunity to participate in four marathon races with him over the past year and asked me to compete in the world’s toughest canoe race with him. I was chatting with a guy from Australia at Mesa Verde and told him about the canoe race. “Why would you want to do something like that?,” he asked me. “Because I love my son,” I replied. And, another great thing about the Texas Water Safari is that my oldest daughter Niki will be our team captain and my wife Cheryl will assist. Gina has promised to pray for her Dad and brother from Malaysia. It will be a family affair. Happy Birthday, Jonathan. I love you!

Tomorrow, Dad and I will begin the two-thousand mile trek back to South Texas. I appreciate each of you who have followed our journey and offered words of encouragement. In addition to my blog posts, I have recorded so many other things about this experience that will serve me for a lifetime. I feel a thousand percent more refreshed and rested than when I started my sabbatical. And even though the Texas Water Safari will be a physically grueling experience, it will be worth it all because of the opportunity to share the experience with Jonathan and our family. I am blessed indeed to have had this time with my Dad and will treasure it for a lifetime. I look forward to the next phase of my sabbatical adventure with my son and my family.


  1. Omar,
    I love waking up every morning and reading what you and your dad did the day before. So glad you chose to spend time during your sabbatical with your dad, what a blessing for him & you. I will be praying for you and Jonathan-God will give you both strength & endurance but more importantly God will bless your time together.

    Miss you!

    • Thanks for following our journey, Patricia. Thanks also for your encouraging words, prayers, and friendship. I’m glad we serve together at such a great place like Kingsland.

  2. I’m sad I cannot be there in person but I am confident that y’all will do well!
    (Good luck dad and brother. I love you!)

    • Love you, Gina. We will miss you at the TWS.

  3. I am enjoying keeping up with you and your dad on this fabulous journey!

    • Thanks so much for following our journey, Carol.

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