From day one I’ve been a daddy’s girl. Not the spoilt, get away with anything, daddy’s girl, far from it. But we’ve always been buddies. He just turned 70 and I had wanted to celebrate it in the proper way. Our plan was to have our annual family get together this coming weekend. Unfortunately we have had to cancel, well, postpone the festivities as he has to have major surgery this week. It will be a good thing as it will get things fixed. But I thought he should still be celebrated! So in the spirit of the post I did about my mum I thought I would toast him as well.
My dad always had time for his girls, something that has never changed. Regardless of what he was doing, whether studying or working, we could be included. It didn’t matter how long his day was he was always up for getting down on the floor and letting us use him as a jungle gym. Many hours were spent doing row row your boat with his arms. And pulling up his eye lids to see if he was still in there!
He’s had quite a journey in life. He is a son of a coal miner who was the first person to go to college and continued on to get his masters degree. When I went back to the UK for a year at university he came with me at the beginning to help me get settled. We did a loop round the country which was a tour of his life. He brought me to the house he was born in to show how far the family had came. Imagine his surprise there was grass and the neighbourhood had come up a bit! But I did get the point.
I am grateful that though he wanted us to have the world he didn’t fall into the trap of just handing it to us. Mum and dad made sure we worked hard and never took anything for granted. When he thought I was losing my way he wrote me a letter talking about how I was disappointing him. I was having a bad attitude and being very angry about things. Lashing out and hurting the ones I loved. It was heartfelt and full of love but also a wake up call to me. I still have that letter.
He has always seemed to know just what to say and how to be supportive. For Senior Hooky Day I chose to go sailing with him instead of scarpering off somewhere. It was a foggy day and it was great fun to just hang out and be outside. He would show up to our American Football games in high school. We had the worst team but once in awhile he would show up, bundled up to hear us play in the band. On the rare occasion there was a touchdown he would actually hear the band play the school song. It wasn’t often!
I get my twisted sense of humour from him. You know the sort that gets you into trouble. When we were in the UK there was an interview with Rowan Atkinson and he had a running gag of butt cheeks or kissing arse. Something like that. So the presenter would toss out words and he kept bringing it back to the gag. They got to windscreen wipers and he just mimed kissing back and forth between butt cheeks. I thought we were going to die. Tears were streaming down our face. Wish I could find that clip. I can’t do it justice.
Of course there is the Championship of the Entire Civilised World for cribbage. It’s quite stiff competition. It’s just the two of us. It’s a great way to just talk and joke about.
I am so grateful to have a dad like my dad. He has showed us how to be true to ourselves, set our standards high, and was a great example of what it means to respect women and treat them well. He and my mum are a great example of what type of relationship we should be looking for. I was lucky that I have that as well with my husband. Dad wasn’t pleased when I wasn’t happy or treated right in past relationships. It was a great relief, I think, to my dad when I met my husband. One, he fits right in with my family and two, he makes me happy.
While I’m nervous about the surgery, I know it is a good thing. It will get him healthy and ensures we have years still to be goofy, make more family memories, and to well, have my dad around. Because he is pretty neat in my book.