Saturday, April 21, 2007

I'd Still Pick You

Today, April 21st marks half a century of life for my dad. It seems an appropriate time for me to provide a toast, an ode, a speech acknowledging the greatness of this man.

It’s sad that it takes most of us growing up and moving out of the house before we realize just how significant our parent’s have been in our lives. I'm pretty sure I'm not the first one to come to this realization and unfortunately not the last that will come to it later than they should. I guess it's a good thing though that I came to it when I did.

As a little girl I, like most little girls, thought my daddy hung the moon. It was very hard to make him mad but when I did it never lasted that long. He was my saving grace on many occasions and there were times in which I know in my heart he wishes he could have been but knew it would be worse for me in the end if he stepped in. I've never known a time in which my Daddy hasn't worked. He had to start early in his life and to this day still gives it his all and is very well respected among his coworkers. This man knows his stuff.

My daddy was fortunate enough to be raised by two loving parents that instilled in him a strong work ethic and the difference between right and wrong. I don't think my Daddy would deliberately hurt any one's feelings if he could avoid it. His own parents showed him what it meant to love a child and I was able to cling to that when times were bleak. It's from him that I learned what it means to take others feelings into consideration before doing certain things.

After a nasty divorce and many months of pure hell, I finally got to live with him full time and I know it took all he had to make that work. He could barely feed himself much less me and my best friend who was always around. I'm sure there were times he went without so that we could have McDonalds or go to the movies. It breaks my heart to look back now and realize just how much he gave up for me and how long it took me to come to appreciate it.

I'm sure if he had his choice while standing in front of the nursery window at the hospital the night I was born he wouldn't have picked the crazy little girl that would grow up to cause him many sleepless night wondering what she was up to or what time she was going to slip in through the bedroom window that was strategically left cracked to avoid the squeaky back door.

I've done and said some things to him in the past that I'm not proud of and wish that I could take back or that he would have jerked me up and whipped my ass right then and there for it. I can say now that I will never in my life deliberately disrespect this man again. If there is anyone on this planet that deserves that type of respect it's him.

It makes my heart swell to see him with my two boys. They love and adore him as much as I do. A1 was a complete and utter shock for him. Never in his wildest dreams would he have guessed he was going to be a Granddaddy that July afternoon when he got the call to go to the hospital. Do you think he missed a beat? Not.At.All. The instant A1 and my Daddy locked eyes they were lifelong buddies. A1 looks up to him and at times I'm convinced he would rather live with his Nan and Granddaddy instead of us!

Then there's A2. If ever a baby had someones heartstrings wrapped around his little finger, they could never be as tight as my daddy's are around A2. A2 doesn't warm up to people, even family, very quickly but there is one thing you can count on and it's the fact that A2 will run to him with arms wide open at first site.

I could go on and on but I'm sure you get the gist.

Daddy- I love you with the light of a thousand moons. Thank you for everything you have done for me and my family over the years. I'm proud to call you my father. 32 years ago if I had the opportunity to pick a Daddy from anyone behind the nursery window........well, I'd still pick you.

Happy Birthday G!