To my Tall and Gentle Dad:
A 6ft and more than 4inch tall man that managed to turn riding on his shoulders into a trip around the moon. That would spend hours on our living room floor playing boat and alligator with his young children even though his own body ached from hard laboring work that he did for us, even though he'd much rather have his dream of being that young 20something year old basketball star.
As a young girl I craved my dads silly playful ways as he was always working and as a grown woman, I now understand why.
He never spoke of his feelings, he'd keep them in, dealt with them his own way. Now, as time has gone by, and maturity earning a face from his eldest of five, you can see the emotions he carries, simply by the way he adjusts his face.
Yet he won't complain and speak ill will of it, he'll continue to give and give even when his giving tree is bare.
He detests gossip and anything hurtful, and should anyone hurt his children, he'll be there in an instant.
My dad- a tough man to break. He may shed tears from pain in his life, but you'll never witness the tears, nor his fear or frail sadness from broken family relationships. He's tall, intense, and extremely hardworking with so many strong characteristics, yet a man that is equally forgiving.
In painful moments he will be the first one there, he will show his tender side in times like that, with a gentle voice and a safety that you could only get from a hug from your dad.
On the day of Jackson's birth, my dad was there with me in the laboring room. The moment that he appeared in the frame of that hospital room doorway as his tall and broad frame walked into the room, suddenly the pain of everything else that was going on minimized with his presence. I didn't want him to leave my side. He offers you a sense of grace and strength even though it's often quite silent.
Sure there's the issue of acceptance that I carry within myself, you know, in regards to how I feel a relationship between a daughter and her dad should be, but then again when I look at all the silent giving and intense sacrifice that he has extended to not only I, but my two other sisters, my two brothers, and naturally his bride of 35 years in August, my heart cries and prays to learn more from him, to gain more insight and to be more like him in character and positive energy with a side order of strength. Besides he gives to me what he knows is best. People don't always stop and think about that. He gives what he knows and has learned and witnessed from when he was a young boy.
He is who he is and he loves me to the best of his ability and has always been someone that when the rocks are overturned, he'll be there with a calm face, will be ever so willing to lift up that rock while I crawl from underneath it. His voice, that soothing comforting voice, not dictating, but guiding. He's given me more then he ever got from his own mom and dad, and again I know I've already said it, but I can't stress the sacrifices he has made, to raise five children.
Sure the sports obsession and football fanatic life style that he loves, gets old, yet in the big picture and naturally when I am wise enough to just stop and sit back and just listen, he's someone that I admire, respect and hope to continue to learn and grow from, so yes, I do have to say, My dad is my hero. A tall, broad and forgiving not to mention a big hearted Fella.
Happy Birthday Dad, I Love you for who you are-all of it and even the annoying stuff.
Thank you for loving me.
I'll say it one more time, you are my hero.