I wanted to do a post in honor of the two most important men in my life.
“What a dreadful thing it must be to have a dull father. – Mary Mapes Dodge”
My father is no longer living on this earth, not physically anyway. He lives, within me, however, so he most definitely still lives. I got his weird humor and the ability to find a reason to laugh just about anywhere, his love of gardening and flowers, his passion for cooking, his Spaghetti Western and “Gunsmoke” fetish, and his obsession with UK Basketball. Some of my best memories are of us watching Festus and Miss Kitty every week night (10:30-11:30). He can also be found in my daughters – especially the youngest, Steph. Britt has the love of cooking and the humor and Em bleeds UK blue and could make a lawyer laugh, but Steph nails all of the categories.
I miss my dad terribly – always, but especially around Father’s Day and Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving was to him what Christmas is to small children. I think it was the combination of family (our family presented, and presents, one million reasons to laugh, which is what we loved most!!! Most of the characters don’t even TRY to be funny, they just are – or were. Okay, some of our best laughs were malicious, I admit it). Add football and food to the family – what a trio! Make no mistake about it, he’s still there every Thanksgiving. He’s also there when UK basketball is on, or when I try out a new recipe, or when I plant flowers. Every year, in addition to my beloved Gladiolas, tulips, daffodils, petunias, begonias, herbs, salvia, tomatoes, etc…I always plant marigolds in his honor. NOT because he loved them, or even liked them. He hated marigolds! Hated their smell, looks, everything. He would always give me a hard way to go when I’d buy them – playfully of course. So, I get them every year. I can just see his nose scrunch up and his eyes roll. One day I’ll stand before Jesus and account for my sins, and just as surely I’ll one day stand beside my dad and hear about those marigolds!
The way my dad lit up my past, I have a husband that lights up my present and future. I married a boy with a lot of the same traits my dad had. Michael’s a very good cook, too, he’s just content to let me do it. (Which is fine by me. Dude’s messy.) He couldn’t differentiate between a dhalia and an iris, but he enjoys their presence. He’s into westerns and even more into laughter. He brought a funny family into the marriage too!
Both guys had something else in common. Whenever anything happened when my dad was still with me, one of my first thoughts was, “I can’t wait to hear what dad has to say about this!” I always knew his TAKE would be priceless. Now the same thing holds water with Michael. He has such a unique outlook on life and can find a reason to laugh just about anywhere.
One of the best things about each fellow was the way they made me feel about me. One of the best compliments I’ve ever gotten in my life was once as a teenager, my dad told me about a dinner he and my mom had had with several other couples. The other couples were talking about their teens – how they were into this, into that, had said this or said that, etc. Daddy said he couldn’t keep his end of the conversation up because I never did anything wrong. The pride in his voice made it hard to get to sleep that night.
Michael makes me feel like I can do anything in the world. I most definitely can’t, but he makes me feel that way. That’s what love should be about – building one up, giving them confidence. Sometimes I’ve felt like he’s tough on our girls, and even on me (by expecting so much out of us) – but he has made us strong. Strength is never acquired by sitting around waiting for it. Expectations build character, character builds strength and strength builds a life.
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” – George Herbert
To me, one of the most amazing things about my husband is that he never had a father growing up (His dad died in an automobile accident when he was a baby.). So he doesn’t have any experiences to draw upon. When it comes to being a father,like everything else in his life, he has lived by gut instincts, wit, and heart-felt convictions. He has taught himself everything he knows – and has always said that this way if anything goes wrong he has no one to blame but himself. Amazingly, very very little ever does go wrong. Well, he smashed a grand piano one time, but I think that was just to prove he was human. It was a pretty piano, too.
If you have a father who is still living, I encourage you to hug every minute – the bear hug style. Tell your fathers and/or husbands what they mean to you. Never take a phone call or visit for granted. Let them hear the smile in your voice. You never, ever know when the world as you know it will cease to exist.