Today is the 4th anniversary of my daddy’s home-going. I’ve actually dreaded the month of September, because as much as I had great memories of him, I will never forget the day, this very date, that he seemed to slip between my fingers. My dad was my world. And there wasn’t anything he couldn’t do in my eyes. And undoubtedly, he contributed greatly to the lady I’ve become.
I remember his little words of wisdom. And even up until his last days, he remained peaceful. Amazingly I believed he was my first child. It’s amazing the things you will do without thinking, when you really love someone. Staying up all night to sing him hymns, until he fell asleep. Talking about my day, so he’d know that I valued him being there. And yet, this was just a small fraction of what he had provided for me. I don’t think anyone should have to watch the one they love pass away. But then again, it gave me time to really sit and truly reflect on how much I really cherished my dad. So, in a way, it was still a blessing and served a wonderful purpose.
I never doubted if my dad loved me. In fact, the man that marries me, will have him to thank for the high bar that he will have to reach, to take my hand in marriage, (as I laugh, seriously). But they will also have him to thank for the man laws, he broke in teaching me what a real man expects from his wife (and I think I’ve got them down now:)). Anyway, I think the list is endless of the ways he showed me. But I’ve decided to compose a top ten list of ways that my dad showed his love for me, in honor of this day. His love and legacy still lives on in me and the future children, I bear:)
10. Attempting to comb my hair – Everyone knows most dads don’t know the first thing about parts and ponytails! But I remember my dad making a conscious effort to help my mom get me ready for school most mornings. (I’m still smiling about all the hair left outside of the barrettes:))
9. Licking my ice cream to secure it on the cone: I don’t know, if it was 100% the reason he did it. But I do know, when I didn’t let him (which was only once) it ended up on the pavement of the store parking lot (LOL)!!! Dad knew best.
8. Picking me up from school, when he heard about a violent storm on the way: They say mom’s are protective. But I remember a really bad tornado touching down over my school when I was in elementary school. Others were there to witness it, but my dad braved the elements to get me safely home. (A tornado did swing thru and caused a tree to fall on the roof of one part of the building. Luckily no one was hurt).
7. Removing my training wheels from my bike without telling me: I know you’re probably thinking, how’s that love? Well, he knew I would perform better, if I didn’t really know they were off. The problem came when he made me aware of their removal while I was riding (very well, I might add), and I looked down to see and ran into the picnic table. (But it was still my dad’s love for having faith in me:)
6. Never settling for a B from me: I remember when I was on A honor roll and got one B, which dropped me to AB Honor roll. My dad was really upset and insisted that I study more to get that B up. The next semester I did. He loved me so much and he knew what I was capable of. He pressure only made me better:) And I love him for it! SN: The only B he settled for, was one I had in 2nd year Spanish. I had all A’s and a C the first semester. So, he arranged for me to stay with a Mexican family that lived behind us every evening after school until my grade improved. I got a B and he let me slide with it.
5. Taking me on routes to spend father/daughter time: My dad worked a lot. He never ever had less than 2 jobs. ( I think that’s why I loved the show, Everybody Hates Chris. Because Julius reminds me of my dad.) Anyway, one of them was driving dump trucks to deliver gravel and sand to different customers. Some afternoons after school, he’d stop by and take me for a ride with him to a client’s house. Once when the SAT’s were going on, he’d pick me up from school early (because we wouldn’t have any classes in the afternoon). We’d grab some lunch and eat it on the way. And then he’d let me shift a gear or two:) I was always impressed by how great my dad could maneuver that huge steering wheel! LOL!!!
4. Courageously and diligently teaching me how to drive: OK, so there are two girls in my class who know how difficult it was to teach me to drive (Lori and Emily…didn’t ever drive in driver’s ed, b/c Coach Bowen had to spend so much time on trying to teach me how to parallel park and 3 point turn:) But on the flip side, we drove nearly all the way to Atmore and back trying! LOL) But, my dad was extremely patient, trying to teach me even at 15 (when I got my driver’s permit). He never gave up and eventually I got really good at it. SN: My mom tried and we ended up parking the car down the road in back of our house and walking back. (She didn’t have any patience. LOL:))
3. Responding faster than the ambulance to the scene of the first major car accident I had: (Ok, I know I said in #4 that I wasn’t that great of a driver. But, I can assure you that it wasn’t my fault for this. I was actually pushed into traffic, when I made a complete stop at a stop sign.) But when I called my mom to tell her that I had been in a car accident, my father showed up on the scene before she could tell him. He said he had sensed something wrong and saw a guy fly past our house speeding fast. (Because of his love, he felt it.)
2. Always finding a way: We weren’t wealthy by any means. We lived a very modest lifestyle. But school and my being well rounded was important to my dad. He encouraged me to join social organizations at school. And many of them were for academia, so he never complained. However, I know there were times that we barely had enough money to pay bills, let alone send me to a Beta Club Convention. Yet, he always came through with the money. He always found a legitimate hustle. And I think he passed that talent on to me. And I’m so thankful for it.
1. Buying my feminine products, so that I could avoid embarrassment: Personally, I know men who say they won’t do this kind gesture for their wives. So, it meant the world to me that I wouldn’t have to purchase them in front of what I considered some of the cutest guys I knew. And yet, my dad never complained nor fussed about my not wanting to do that unthinkable task. His response was “Why would I be embarrassed, I don’t use them! They know they’re not for me anyway”. And he would write down the names and specifics and go inside and purchase them. Truly that’s a father’s love, through and through.