When we think of Father’s Day, the image of young children presenting a brand new grill to their father often comes to mind, but what about a seasoned relationship between a father and son who have years of shared experiences, advice and memories? To provide a different perspective, Dr. Paul Muncy and his father, Vern Muncy, wanted to share their history and reflect on their father/son relationship to showcase the importance of staying in touch and being with family as we get older. Vern recently relocated to Presbyterian Village North (PVN), located within the Lake Highlands community where his son also resides, and the two have been taking advantage daily of being within close proximity of each other. Paul’s advice for families in recognition of Father’s Day is for people to stay in touch as best as they can, because it is worth it. Vern advises people to take the time to tell their family members how proud they are of them and to make time for each other as much as possible.
“It is wonderful having my dad close to me again,” said Paul. “We have the ability to be together whenever we want, whether we are reminiscing through old photographs, taking trips to the lake or simply checking on each other in person or over the phone. Since he made the move to PVN almost a year ago, we have developed new traditions, like having a family dinner on Sundays. We mostly talked on the phone in the past, since we lived in different states, but now I can see him a few times every week. I use this time to tell him I love him as often as I can and that I am proud to be his son. Our relationship has really grown over the past year, and I really enjoy having him be a part of not only my life but the lives of my two daughters as well.”
Paul understands what it is like to be a parent and says that the most rewarding thing is watching your children grow and mature. He works to instill family values in his daughters by showing them that expressing love to your family and having fun with them are some of the most important values in life. He demonstrates this by spending time with them regularly and attending their events. He knows it makes them feel special, loved and important.
“I love my granddaughters, and I think Paul and I have done a pretty good job of passing our love for sports and our athletic abilities down to them,” said Vern. “I had Paul when I was 25 years old, and one of the first things I taught Paul was how to throw a baseball. When I was 45 and he was 20, we played on the same church league fast-pitch softball team. I played first base and batted cleanup, while he played shortstop and batted third. Paul and I used to play softball and baseball together all the time, and his athletic ability has always made me proud. I am also proud of his intelligence and truthfulness. I find it important to spend as much time as I can with my family and tell them why they make me proud. While I do not live in the same state as my other son, Phil, who lives in Kansas City, and my daughter Barbara, who lives in Nashville, I still call them to catch up and tell them how proud I am of them too. Having my children around me was the best Father’s Day I could ask for, and knowing my children are not only my children but close friends as well is the best feeling.”
“We have always shared a love of sports,” said Paul. “While we never really lived and died with the same team, we did go to a lot of Vanderbilt football and basketball games while I was growing up. One time when I was 14 years old, we made a special trip to the Rose Bowl. We stayed up all night saving seats for the parade, and then went to the game pretty sleepy that afternoon. These memories are some of my favorites, and we continue doing things together to make new memories.”
Recently, Paul and Vern visited the Fredericksburg, Texas, Admiral Nimitz Museum of World War II in the Pacific to see a brick commemorating Vern’s service. Paul is extremely proud of his father for serving in WWII and for being a wonderful father and husband for so many years. Each year, the two take a special trip to attend the Marine Corp reunion, which is held in a different place each year.
“It is truly heartwarming to see families brought back together after living long distance for some time,” said Ron Kelly, executive director at Presbyterian Village North. “We see that a lot here– residents moving to be closer to their adult children and grandchildren. We are happy to help them make the transition and provide a place in which new memories and family traditions can be made. To celebrate these familial relationships, we hosted a special Father’s Day brunch. My heart is always warmed to see how many father and son relationships are still flourishing.”