Since Father’s Day is this weekend, I wanted to let you know a few things. Mostly, how much I love you.
When I was little, I loved going places with you. It seemed as though everyone smiled at you as we walked hand-in-hand through Lumber Two; it was like a light radiated from you. People would see you making decisions in the aisles of Builder’s Square and they’d ask you, not the workers, for your opinion on what items to buy.
I loved when you’d come home from work every night; I’d race Bridget and Samantha to the front door to see who could give you a hug and kiss first. And, when I would give you a hug, I’d inhale a big whiff of motor grease and Jovan Musk. That scent still makes me think of you to this day.
I marveled at your creativity (and still do) when you’d bring home stuff for us girls to play with. Like the enormous white barrel that we’d try to balance on (or get pushed around in) in the backyard, or the clear tubing you bought one day on a whim at Builder’s Square and said: “I thought you girls could play dentist.”
You literally built the majority of my childhood home with your two hands. Whenever you had a project, I loved watching you work. I thought you were a genius; the way you knew exactly what to do when it came to building, carpentry, and plumbing. It made me feel special when you’d say: “I’ve got a job for you” and you’d hand me a small piece of wood, a few nails, and a hammer. I cherished those moments of learning how to work with my hands because I wanted to be like you.
I remember asking Mom once when I was little, “Why’s Daddy so tired?” and she said, “Because he works so hard for us.” I knew we weren’t the richest people on the planet, but I always felt like we had more than enough. You worked (and still work) so hard. Seeing you put in a full 8 (sometimes 12) hour day, only to come home and work on motors from other places until all hours of the night inspired me and made me so proud of you. I knew my dad loved me, my mom, and my sisters because of the work he did.
You’ve also been an example to me of what a Godly man should be. I’ll never forget the day that I was bored, just walking around the house looking for something to do, when I noticed your bedroom door almost shut. I peeked in, and saw you reading the Bible. That image is forever burned into my memory and I cannot even begin to describe what it meant to me.
You have always been there to cheer me on, to let me know when I needed to change my ways, and helped me back up when I needed it. Even when I rebelled against you, you welcomed me back like the prodigal son and got the fatted calf (also known as “The Danger Ranger”) with no questions asked.
When you had your heart bypass surgery, that’s when I first realized that even Superman needs help sometimes. I’m so thankful that I was able to be at home most days of the week to help with your care. I feel like you and I really bonded during that time; me bringing you pudding and Diet Coke in the recliner while we watched The Price is Right and How Its Made (although, you fell asleep during most of them. I blame the Lortab, not the company).
You’ve set such an amazing standard for me, that I was unsure if I’d ever be able to find a man that could reach the level of “hero” for me that you have. Thankfully, because of your love, attention, guidance, and care, I feel like I have. It hurts my heart sometimes to see what other young girls have gone through that didn’t have a father or didn’t have one quite like mine. When I see the things they’ve had to go through, it makes me even more thankful that I have you.
I’d like to think I’ve gotten more from you than just your brown eyes and awesome sense of humor. I hope that I reflect your hardworking spirit, your creativity, and your tenacity (I know I reflect your stubbornness). You are an amazing father and I’m so glad you’re mine.
I love you, Daddy,