I’ll be honest – I haven’t always appreciated having my father in my life as I should. When someone has been there all of your life and has unceasingly supported and loved you, unfortunately you tend to take for granted their presence. This couldn’t be truer in my life than with my Dad.
There hasn’t been a moment in my life when I have not been thought about by someone, thanks to my Dad. He was there when I made my entrance into this world, smiling and crying (both of us, that is :-)). Thanks to him, I know what it’s like to be adored and be the apple of someone’s eye. I know how I should be valued and treated by a guy. I know that I’m worth much. He was the first man to call me beautiful and one of the first to affirm that I am able to be and accomplish much. He’s my riding partner and the one who will sing along with me (in the absence of Brandon). Plus he gave me my smile…no really…we have the same smile. I can’t quite remember how it felt to be held by him when I was a baby but I know that when life gets to be a bit much, I can still go lay on his belly and feel safe.
I always get a kick out of watching my Dad introduce me to people. His smile gets as big as Garfield the Cat and he just goes on and on. Me being me makes him uber proud so it makes it easier for me to be me. My accomplishments are his accomplishments and my family has laughed many days as my Dad has collected my awards, degrees, and diplomas into his possession.
My Dad’s a big lovable guy whose passion is boundless. He will give you the shirt off of his back, his last dollar, or simply his best. It’s because of him that I learned to love hard or love not at all. I’ve watched him pour himself out, be the favorite one to be misunderstood, and bounce back hurt after hurt. But do not push him and do not mess with his family – perhaps I should leave it at that…lol.
He’s not perfect – no, he can be a bit abrasive, quick tongued, and can chew you up and spit you out when you’re in the wrong. He’s a “tell it like it is” kinda guy (delivery may not be his strong suit but he’s gotten better!…lol) and he says what he means and means what he says. He unapologetically has high standards of those around him…but these standards are what he sets for himself first. He’s a man’s man but on any given day I can come home to him doing laundry, cooking, washing dishes, vacuuming, or dusting. He’s a “get ‘er dooone” type of guy who moves quickly on ideas and desires (a little too fast at times…lol).
As much joy as it’s been, I’m sure, for him to watch me grow and mature, it’s been equally as joyful for me to watch him mature. His growth as a man, especially in the past few years, has been so inspiring and wonderful. As much as he says, “I’ve been this way my whole life!”, there have been some visible changes in him that have encouraged me in my own journey.
There’s not one need I have in this life that my Dad has not attempted to meet. Some things I know I’m going to have to hear a speech about (lol) but at the end of the day, it gets handled. He is that *unwanted* voice of obvious reality when I just want someone to listen to me complain. He’s never bit his tongue about letting me know when I need to get my life together, which has caused many hurt feelings but has also caused me to be the young woman you all see today. He has always loved me more than he has desired my “like” or my friendship, though I now count him among my best friends. I am so grateful.
(I dressed as Dad at Light Up the Night 2013)
As I’ve gotten older, the thought of losing my parents has gotten more and more scary. I honestly get teary-eyed thinking about it – they’ve always been there and it’s hard imagining life without them. My Dad’s dad passed away at the age of 55, the same age that my Dad is now. I know this has played with my Dad’s psyche for the past few years and that’s driven him, in part, to be a healthier, better him. I don’t know when the good Lord will decide it’s time for my Dad to leave this Earth but for the 27 years so far that he’s had to steward my life, I believe that he’d get a “well done”. My prayer is that God grants him long life to see me complete my plan to give him ALL the degrees (lol), walk me down the aisle, cry tears of joy at the birth of my child, harass my kids like only “Pop Pop” can. I pray God grants him long life so that he sees all the prayers, tears, and seeds that he planted into my life go into full bloom.
I truly love my Dad and though I may not always appreciate his presence like I should, I am grateful that I can say that he’s here and always has been. He always says that people overlook Father’s Day – and I get it because when you’re a good father, you don’t wish to be included in negative generalizations. So I try to make sure I make a big deal about it for him. HE DESERVES IT.
I haven’t been the perfect daughter but one of my biggest goals is to always put that Garfield smile on his face. So far, so good. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, DADDY!
“You’ll always be my father and I’ll always be your joy…” – Chrisette Michele