I adore my dad. I love him fiercely like a bear cub and gently like a baby dear. He taught me to sing “America the Beautiful” while we were driving up the Rocky Mountains on the way to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
He took me across the street to the park every Saturday when I was only 3 to explore and hike and experience nature. He taught me to love the outdoors, the beauty of God’s creation and probably caused my heart to hunger for more of God. He taught me Astronomy when I was only five and made me feel smart and wonderful always. I loved to hear his stories. My dad is a great story-teller and a natural author. He is 81 and working on his third book. I am so proud of him. He has accomplished so much in his life, not the least of which raising three girls and two boys of which I am the oldest.
I know I said in an earlier post that I felt a shift in his behavior toward me after the divorce to a more grandfatherly pose as a disciplinarian. It’s true he wasn’t as strict, but we cherished all of our time together and he was always, always there for me. I knew I could count on him in any kind of crisis and experience bore that out. But I don’t want to talk about crisis now, I want to talk about my dad and his stories and our great times together.
He could and does tell the very best stories. And he has a wonderful laugh. I love to hear it and I love to make him laugh. He’s told me he thinks I’m brave and that is music to my ears because he is. He was born in the Great Depression. His parents separated when he and his younger brother were very young. I’m sure it was very hard, but the way he tells it they had a great deal of fun and fought as brothers will. They would get into the movies for the cost of a gunny sack each he used to say. And one day, he and his brother found where they stored the gunny sacks and went to the movies quite easily from then on! On they reminded me of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. I loved to hear about their adventures.
My dad was always a very hard worker like his mom. He worked on the railroad when he was only 14 pounding spikes which he said may have stunted his growth. Hard to say when he’s 6 feet tall! 🙂 He worked his way through college after being in the Army at the end of World War II on the GI bill. And went to work for an insurance company. He worked his way up to heading a large local Insurance brokerage house and had traveled on business internationally before he retired. All on the strength of hard work, good salesmanship, and smarts. I’m very proud of my dad and all he’s accomplished in life, while being here for us kids.
Now I call myself a Daddy’s Girl, not because I don’t love my mom to pieces, because I do. And it’s not because I’m spoiled either. It’s just when I looked up for help in the times of my life I really needed it…I always saw my dad’s face. Always.
I relate to my dad. I understand him. I want to make him proud and I want to make him happy more than anything I guess. I want to somehow pay him back if I can in some small way for always being there for me.
I’m crying now thinking of all the times he’s been there for me. I ran away after a bad experience when I was 16. He was the one who found me. I didn’t go into the hospital willingly when they first found the bi-polar, because I didn’t want to be separated from my son…so I had to face a commitment hearing. My dad went with me to that. His calm demeanor and praise afterward kept the experience from scaring and scarring me. Also I passed and became a voluntary admittance which is much preferred, believe me. When my boy died he held me up. He held me at my daughter’s funeral. He gave me away with such joy when Mike and I married. He paid for my college, when I finally made it at 28! He was there for my awards dinner with my mom when I scored high grades.
Here’s a birthday card I had made for him last year. I will never be able to show him how much I appreciate all he has done. But like me, he loves celebrations, and birthdays! His is 4 days after Christmas!
Happy Celebrating Every Day, Dad…with all my love, Lib