Sunday, June 20, 2010

To My Dad

I could fill volumes with words about my dad.
When I think of him my heart grows full and sometimes I choke with emotion because my love for him is so overwhelming. I admire him and respect him. I love to be with him. I have never doubted his love for me and I always know he'll be there for me. No matter what. Still.
My Dad is my rock.
And I love him so.

Like most fathers, when we were little, Dad was busy. Running his own business, raising 4 kids, trying to make ends meet and taking care of his family's physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Fathers have an awesome responsibility.
But I didn't feel neglected. Somehow he managed to make the most of whatever time he had with us. If he was there, we wanted to be too and he let us. He liked to be with us and we could tell.
And no matter what is was, Dad could always turn it into something fun.
From wheelbarrow rides,
to a visit to an aircraft carrier,
we always had fun together.
But it was more than that. My dad has a special ability to make anything fun. Running errands, delivering art to a gallery or taking us for a bus ride; it was always an adventure.
He's still that way. He comes up to power wash my house and takes the boys with him to the hardware store for some supplies.
They come back in an hour because the boys had to go in every shed lined up outside the store and pretend to jump out and scare people. Dad let them, even though he had work to do.
And he had just as much fun doing it as they did. They'll always remember that trip to the hardware store with him.
Dad reminds me of what matters.

He is also a terrible tease. He just can't help himself. He'd play some trick on us and be helpless with laughter.
Sometimes we'd get mad (Ben)
but mostly we loved it.
There are so many memories of tricks and pranks, of chasing and getting sprayed with the hose, of hide and go seek and jumping out to scare us, of teasing my friends cause he knew he could get their goat, of lots and lots of laughter.
It was all part of the fun.

And when I think back to the years of my childhood and how my dad helped shape me into who I am today, I think all that fun helped us through some really hard times. Because there were dark days. Dark years probably.
But Dad still laughed with us. He showed us how to trust God and to be an optimist. He always looks on the bright side.
He has an eternal perspective.

My dad taught me to dream.
He knew that dreams carry you through the days when you might not have much else. That someday you might go on a hot air balloon ride, or own a go cart or go to the World's Fair. And even if you don't, you can still have a lot of fun dreaming about it.
And sometimes your big dreams do come true. And you go to India with your 16 year old daughter for 5 weeks.
And you have the adventure of a lifetime.
I will never forget that trip. And I am grateful for the sacrifice he made to spend those days with me. (and to my mom for letting her little girl go all the way to India) What 16 year old gets to do something like that with her dad? It was a sweet, sweet time and something we'll always share, just the 2 of us.

There were all the times I called him from the side of the road, "what's wrong with it now?" he'd ask and then he'd come get me. And fix my car again. Late at night, far away, it didn't matter, He always came. It is good to know you have a dad who will rescue you.

And then, the day came when another man became the first in my life. And even though he was exceedingly gracious about letting me go, even though he said this was God's plan for my life, and the way it was supposed to be, Dad still whispered, "walk slower," as he led me down the aisle.
And even though I was so excited to begin my new life with my husband, my love, I was still a little sad at leaving home. Change, even good change, is hard. And I was leaving behind a lot of good things.

But I didn't know this was coming.
And there might be nothing better than seeing my children walking through life with my Dad, and loving him like I do. So much more than we could ever say.

Happy Father's Day, Dad. I love you.
Love from,

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