Tuesday, January 24, 2012
"Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad."
I love my dad. Dearly, in fact. There are few people in my life who mean more to me.
What can I say about a man so great?
He's hysterical. One of the funniest people I know. And I know he's usually full of crap when he starts a story. All of this is evident when he gets this little twinkle in his blue eyes and well-worn laugh lines creep up around his face. I didn't learn he was full of crap until I was much older. I faithfully believed bigfoot was in the woods every single time he pointed out the car window while saying, "Look, Krys, there's bigfoot." I'd probably still look today. He celebrates April Fool's Day as if it's an actually holiday. He loves to joke. I love his sense of humor.
He's a little on the short side, vertically challenged, perhaps? And he's a little on the stocky side. He loves to golf, read, watch TV and tends to say what's on his mind. He cooks, cleans and worships my mother. He's her perfect match, and she's the love of his life. He loves his children, all five of us, and adores his 10 grandchildren.
He was a hands-on dad. He changed diapers, fed babies and after raising four daughters, he thought nothing of running to the grocery store to buy sanitary napkins. You didn't try to change him. He is who he is. When he'd walk around the grocery store with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth, I'd want to cringe in shame. When he'd cruise around town in the antique Impala he adored (and consequently sold to send me to college), I never wanted to go. Old cars were for old men, not teenagers. And when I pulled out in front of a semi on my first day of driving, he didn't kill me or yell, but he still holds on to the handles when he rides with me to this day.
He's brutally honest. He's the one who taught me as a teenager that "there is no place in a relationship for jealousy." I follow that rule to this day. The example he set as a father and a husband was one every man should emulate.
He turns 65 on Thursday. Sixty-five wonderful years, filled with hard work, military service, children and family.
He's my hero, friend and champion. He's taught me more about life than I could ever imagine, but more than anything, he led my example. I am the person I am today because of his strength, trust, support and love.
Thanks, Dad, I love you.