Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day

It seems that most of the news you hear about dads is negative. So, with that in mind, I thought I would share about the dads in my life.

My childhood...pretty good I'd have to say. My dad did all of those things a good dad should do. I always knew that he loved me. He played in the yard with us, took time to listen, plus so many other things. The difference is that my dad had to take on many extra responsibilities. See, my mom was sick most of the time my sister and I were growing up. I remember lots of hospital visits, extended stays at hospitals, visits to a specialist in Atlanta and so on. When many men would have hit the road, my dad stuck around. He showed me what it means when you pledge that for better or worse, in sickness and in health. I do believe one of the most important lessons he taught me through his actions was how a man should treat his wife and children. Now, this was never a major lecture that he sat down and gave me. No. This was one of those things I learned as I watched him through the years. I wish that every young girl could witness a loving and devoted father like I did. I wish that each young girl could learn from her daddy that she is valuable and has worth, that she is adored. In my 12 years as a teacher, I have seen young girls that long for their father to show them these things. They long to know that Daddy loves them no matter what. My dad put his life on hold to see that my sister and I were taken care of. He cleaned, ironed clothes, many things that lots of dads don't have to do. I don't know that I'll ever be able to express my gratitude. Through the past 7 months, he has been there every time we needed him. No matter what time of day it is, he's there to drive me to treatment, watch the boys, go to the ER for various reasons. Once again, he has put his life on hold to make sure my needs are met. Dad, I love you and thank God for everything you've meant to me.

Uncle Junior. What can you say? The man can fix anything. More importantly, he's always treated me just like I was his. My cousins are more like siblings to me than actual cousins. When my mom was sick, my uncle and aunt let us stay at their house twice a week. This surely provided them with extra stress and burdens I'm sure. They never let anyone know that though. Uncle Junior always reminded me that "the law's out" when I started driving. He always makes sure there is enough air in each tire, oil changes are up to date, and reminds you NEVER to have less than 1/2 tank of gas. If I'm ever traveling, I know I can count on him to monitor the weather channel and update me on any information that might affect me. He taught me the value of hard work, and he is the true picture of servant spirit.

My granddaddy is one of the most interesting people I know. Many of my favorite memories from my childhood involve him. Granddaddy would always have Coke. Coca-Cola classic in the glass bottles. How many of you remember those? After he had worked in the yard or the garden, he would sit on the back porch and drink a coke along with my cousins, my sister and me.
As a kid, I was anxious when summer came. I was READY for watermelons. Not only to eat them...but to sell them. Granddaddy would go to my great uncle's place and load his yellow truck with watermelons. He'd park the truck in the driveway, and then we'd put up a sign reading Watermelons for Sale. After what seemed like an eternity, (it was probably only 30-45 minutes) we would begin begging to lower the price thinking that it would increase our sales. I still remember the box we used to store the money. He reminded us to keep it close and always watch it when people were around.
No matter what, I always knew that he loved me. Several years ago, he had a picture that was taken when he was in the service. He gave it to me and informed me, "Nobody wants that old thing. I'm just gonna' throw it away." I tod him that any of us would love to have it, I was just the lucky one to be there that day. Whenever Veteran's Day comes around, I always think about him. Whenever I see an American flag, I think about what he did to preserve the freedoms outlined in our Constitution. I'm proud of him and glad he is MY granddaddy.

I couldn't talk about the dads in my life without mentioning Stephen. I very much don't deserve him. I've always known that, but the past 7 months have made me even more grateful than ever to be married to him. While some kids have to crouch in a corner not knowing what Daddy might do when he comes home, my boys watch the clock ALL day to count the minutes until their daddy arrives home. They each have a "post" so that they can see his truck coming and then track him through the neighborhood until he walks in the door. James Dobson says this is a good thing. I think it is too. When Stephen walks in the door, the boys are fighting for his attention. Each one wants to be the first to tell him the events of their day. If only I could get them that excited about household chores. He was an amazing dad before November 11, 2010. Since then, he shot way past amazing to a status that is indescribable. Not only has he continued the duties of a dad, but he has picked up most of the things I usually took care of. No matter how exhausted he is, he completes household chores such as laundry, packing lunches, cleaning dishes, etc. I'm not sure how much sleep he's had since November, but I can promise you it's not much. There is nothing better than to hear him encouraging Andrew as he's learning scripture, reading Aaron the story of Jonah, or teaching John Curtis how to pray. As far as I'm concerned, my boys have the best daddy that 3 little boys could have.

So, there you go. To the dads in my life, I love you. Happy Father's Day!