Libby Baker Sweiger

Weaver of Everyday Tales

Daddy’s Girl

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.

Driving through the Rockies (Courtesy of Photobucket)

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!

Sis Sara, me, Niece Kimmy, Sis Suzy

Happy Celebrating Every Day, Dad…with all my love, Lib

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18 thoughts on “Daddy’s Girl

  1. Libby – Keep up the writing. I am greatly enjoying reading the daily chapters. Very moving.

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  2. Wow Steven! Thanks for subscribing! I’ll keep it up…very enjoyable if sometimes heart-wrenching process!

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  3. @fayezeewayzee on said:

    I actually signed up with *wordpress* so I could leave a comment! I enjoyed reading your story here about your Dad. I lost mine last year, so this kind of thing really touches me. So glad you had (what sounds like) a terrific Dad!

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  4. Dear friend! Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed…and so very sorry you lost your dad last year. I am preparing for that day, but I know nothing can prepare me. Bless you for reading and bless your day!

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  5. This just brought me to tears. I don’t think most men understand the impact they have as daddies on their children, especially as little girls. What a strength he was to you in the good times and bad. And what a beautiful example of our heavenly father’s love for his children. I’m so thankful you were so blessed with such a father.

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    • I don’t know if most father’s realize this or not. Mistakenly I always thought my dad was really excited about my brothers. Only when I was older did I hear him speak out about his preference for his three daughters. I was stunned. I think as children it’s very hard to know what’s going on. So much of the time we guess wrong and misunderstand. In my teens, I hardly noticed how much my dad was there for me…looking back I just went Libby…what were you thinking. Of course I wasn’t. I was a teenager!

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  6. What a beautiful chapter. I love my father deeply as well.

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  7. Well my friend I should know better to even come to this blog without my tissues! How I love to hear about your father as I have lost mine 4 yrs ago this Sept. I never really felt that close to my dad till I met my hubby & John & him became fast friends! That i am so thankful for since I did become very close to him before he died! You are so blessed my Lovely Libby I am blessed to have you in my life & I will always tell you that!!! Keep up this writing & i will keep the tissues near!

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    • I’m so glad you got to know your dad so well before he died, such precious not to be forgotten times. When Mike and I got married he felt I had a lot of false assumptions about my dad stemming from my teens when we weren’t as emotionally close and he encouraged me to recapture the intimacy of my youth with dad by asking him to lunch regularly. Mike is a very wise man and my dad and I got very, very close all over again. We never had another obtuse moment, except in jest. 🙂

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  8. Libby, beautiful writing and your love for your dad, and whole family comes shining through. You are an amazing, strong, Godly woman who is great inspiration to us all!

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    • Well God Bless you Nancy for your observations. You are very kind. I love my family it is true and am always thrilled to be in their company! From them, and my dear Lord, I get my strength, which some days is significant. Some days I am a wet noodle and I sit home and sip tea! 🙂 JK! 🙂

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  9. What wonderful thoughts about a wonderful Dad. I’m sure your Dad appreciates you and will love this post! I lost my Dad 2 years ago, and to this day wish we had become closer, althought I still felt his love.

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    • Dearest Lily, you are a precious friend! I am sorry to hear of your loss. I do believe there will be time for you and your dad still to get closer in Heaven. I believe there will be lots of mansions, good conversation and tea, I suppose coffee too. Certainly great loving conversations that will last for decades. Bless you!

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  10. Another wonderful post, Libby! (Taking mental notes for potential future fatherhood…)

    I’m one of three boys, with one sister. I grew up knowing of the special bond between my father and sister. I admit, there were times when I was jealous. But she is special — not just because she’s the only girl (well, woman, now) — she’s a loving person. Plus, I’m oldest of the four, so I know I benefited from those perks, too. 🙂

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  11. You will be a great father Mark! You have a fabulous faith and a lot of love to give! Many blessings!

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  12. Very nice album of life, not fantasy. reality and relaxation.

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