“He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it.”
~Clarence Budington Kelland
Yep, that’s my Dad for you.
As is usually the case, I didn’t fully appreciate my Dad while I was growing up. I didn’t quite understand the sacrifices that he made in order to provide his family with the necessities of life. I simply observed my Dad and came to the conclusion that all Dad’s were like my Dad. Looking back, I couldn’t have been more wrong in my observations. Because my Dad doesn’t fit the mold of a typical Father. He surpasses it by a long shot.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any recent pictures of just my Dad and I. However, I found a few pictures of him offering some final words of wisdom to me at my wedding reception.
I can’t recall what he told me that day, but I do remember that I had just finished crying my eyes out. I was emotional because it finally hit me how much both of my parents had sacrificed in order to help me arrive at that point in my life.
It took me 24 years, but I had finally realized how much my Dad (and my Mom) loved me.
My childhood flashed before my eyes.
I remembered how hard my Dad worked to provide us with not only a comfortable lifestyle, but to also enable us opportunities to develop our talents. There was always enough money for me to take piano lessons, to play sports, to earn a monthly allowance, and to buy new school clothes on a yearly basis. I was one lucky kid.
My Dad works harder than any other man I have ever met. While I was growing up, he worked as a draftsman at Utah State University. When that wasn’t enough income to make ends meet, he worked as a janitor in the early morning hours. No job was beneath my Dad.
I remember accompanying my Dad to those early morning janitorial jobs. If my memory serves me correctly, my Dad cleaned like crazy while Tara and I sat on our lazy rear ends and pigged out on popcorn and gulped as much soda as our hearts desired.
I’ll never forget those early mornings watching my Dad work.
He sacrificed precious hours of sleep to provide for his family.
My Dad didn’t earn his Bachelor’s Degree until a few years ago. He waited to return to school until all of his children had graduated from high school. Could he have finished earlier? Of course. But being a Dad, a good Dad, required him to hold off on his degree.
Instead of going to school, my Dad chose to spend time with his family. From the yearly family vacations to the weekly food shopping, he was there for it all. When I felt jealous of the boy scouts because they got to go on hard-core camping trips, he sacrificed his time and took us girls out in the wilderness and treated us like men. 🙂
There were times, growing up, that my Dad embarrassed me. He would stick gummy-worms up his nose while driving the car, he often stuck his foot in his mouth while talking to everyone he came in contact with (the supermarket checkout lady, passengers in the elevator, etc.), and he had an embarrassing habit of falling off of curves and running into poles. Looking back, I can’t help but laugh!
My Dad was always willing to help me out, even when I was in college. When I used to train for marathons, I would wake my Dad up at 5:00 in the morning and ask him to drive me anywhere from 14 to 20 miles away and drop me off so that I could run back. He never complained once. He even claimed to enjoy it.
When I asked him to drive me to Oregon for a job fair right before college graduation, he jumped on the opportunity! When I landed a job in California, he happily helped me find an apartment and get settled. Even though my Dad lived twelve hours away from me, I couldn’t help but call him when I had a problem. One day, after Tara had come to live with me, we were baking a pizza and the smoke alarm went off. We couldn’t get it to turn off for the life of us. What did we do? We called our Dad. Without doubt, he always knows what to do! 🙂
My Dad possesses many great qualities, but there is one particular thing that stands out the most to me.
He loves my Mom.
To a daughter, that means the world.
Yes, I am blessed with the best Dad in the world.
Do you know what else I’m blessed with?
The absolute best husband (and father of my children) in the universe.
Yes, it’s true.
I love him more than words can say.
He adores our children.
He sacrifices a lot for our family and I hope that he knows how much we love and appreciate all that he does for us.
To all the Father’s in my life, Happy Father’s Day!