Last night I was laying in my bed when a sudden, horrible realization rushed upon me. I forgot to call my Dad on Father's Day, AND the next day! Oh, what guilt! I am so utterly pathetic when it comes to remembering birthdays, holidays, and the like. Somehow they creep up on me without me realizing it! For better or for worse, my family knows I am as absent minded as can be, but I still hate the feeling of knowing I'm letting them down. Or, worse yet, that I don't really care about them- which I most certainly do!
So, after I was finished lamenting my shortcomings to Brent (who doesn't even bother to raise his expectations anymore!) and berating myself, I resolved, first, to call Dad (I did send a card, but still, it's not the same...), and second to give a testimony about him!
Dad, you are one of the corniest people I know! Now, lest you think I am starting off with a curse and not a blessing, I must explain myself! As a kid I had this "love/hate" feeling about Dad's seemingly ceaseless corny jokes. One one hand, he embarrassed me, because, I, of course, thought NO other father in the whole world EVER cracked such lame jokes as he did. Don't worry, I've since learned it is quite the opposite! It is some sort of rite of passage when a man becomes a father. They lose all sanity as quickly as the mother loses her figure during pregnancy! Yet, in all his humor I found a strange sense of comfort and actually a reassurance that he was normal (see I DID really know deep down it was a "dad" thing). Since I spent so many years without a dad in the house it was a deep longing inside me to have a man who made me "his daughter". And, surprisingly one of the things that made me feel like "his" was his crazy and illogical humor. Thanks Dad, for always making me laugh- even when I just laugh 'cause I don't really get the joke!
Dad has always done a good job of showing me a servant spirit. He loves the Lord and is always looking around him to find someone who needs help. Maybe it was a paint job for someone, a meal, a grass cut, a hug or a laugh. Maybe it was just a bit of help in backing up a car, tasting a bite of his food, or slipping you a $20 bill when he had it. I know through the years I've bristled when he offered his help. I guess I saw it as a lack of confidence in my abilities. But now I see more clearly that it is all about how he best displays God's love through him. God has given him a huge heart that loves people- all kinds too! The always has a moment for an elderly person, a wrestle for a little boy, a tender pat on the back for us girls, a day of work for a person who needs it, or a loud guffaw laugh to lighten the mood.
Dad loves to make memories too. I can still remember him dressing up as Santa and walking in the back yard with hopes of prolonging our childish belief in Santa Claus just one more year! We ate corn on the cob so many times each summer that for years after I was out of the house I couldn't even look at corn! What a memory, right?! He did always finish off the ends of the cobs for me since I never ate them. I remember the annual event of him jumping into the newly opened pool fully clothed and usually dragging Tara in too. I think I was always able to avoid being tossed in, thankfully!
Then, the seasonal trek to every firehouse with a Christmas train garden within an (un) reasonable distance comes to mind. I 'm not a huge train fan, but it was always fun seeing Dad get as excited as a little kid as he pointed out all the parts and scenery. Now, I find myself wanting to pass the tradition on to my kids.
And, speaking of firehouses, how can one forget the hours w all spent crowded around the scanner waiting for "a good one" that we could jump in the car and go watch. The Bon Lumber fire is still etched on my memory! Boy was that hot!
From deafening snores in the background as we watched TV at night, to double and triple checking to make sure we washed our hands- with soap- after an outing, Dad has left an impression! You can always count on him having a mint in his pocket or giving you the ever-reaching cure of "go rub some alcohol on it"! You can count on him for getting in trouble having pillow fights on Young People's trips, but also know he'll risk his own embarrassment by picking up my feminine products at the grocery store because as a teen I was too embarrassed!
I know I'm just skimming the surface of all my memories here, but it is such fun reliving the moments. Times have not always been easy. Jumping into a family with two adolescent girls never is. But, through it all Dad has always been there for me. I know that the minute I pick up the phone I can count on him for anything.
I am so grateful to God for giving me a dad like him just at the perfect time HE knew I needed one. Because of the love Dad has shown me, I am better able to see the Heavenly Father's love for me.
Dad, I'm sorry for forgetting to call on Father's Day, but please don't think that it's because I don't care. I love you so much!