My dad is a gentle giant who never raised his hand to his kids and rarely raised his voice. When he was disappointed in us, he let us know with a tightening of his lips and we knew then to change our behavior. Always a protective presence in our lives, he rarely spoke unless he had something important to say. Of course, he was not perfect. But, to this 'daddy's girl' , he is my hero.
I remember him singing to me when I was a little girl. My twin brother, older sister and I would get our baths as two and three- year olds. He would take me out of the tub, wrap a big fuzzy towel around me and sing, "I danced with a dolly with a hole in her stocking and her knees kept a -knocking and her toes kept a -rocking. Danced with a dolly with a hole in her stocking, we danced by the light of the moon".
When my wedding day came, dad and mom walked me down the aisle. They were a couple ahead of their time. They loved their family and I remember many, many parties at our home with all of our relatives and neighbors invited to come join the fun. Mom worked at Bell telephone (what is now Verizon) as a customer service representative, and dad had his own shade shop. Mom would bring home the bacon, and dad would "fry it up in a pan".
Apparently, we did not have a lot of money. I did not really know that, because dad re- built a doll house by hand for my sister and I. My mom made hand made doll clothes, so, I was forever changing the dolls' outfits and playing house in the back yard. To me, wearing the same outfit as my dolly was "rich". In fact, I think American Girl Dolls makes a fortune off of that same concept today.
Today, Dad and Mom use their hard earned retirement money to host the whole family in Avalon for a family reunion during the summer. Their loyalty, generosity and patience with us is a rare gift in this world, truly a blessing in their children's lives.
Daddy was the "go to" guy if you wanted something at our house. He was the neighborhood guy who bought all the kids an ice cream cone after a basketball game. He would see that I got an "F" in algebra and say, "did you try?"
My biggest supporter, dad, wanted me to publish since as far back as I can remember. He would pick up the daily newspaper and have me read the editorial pages. I know now, that his encouragement, then, caused me to go to college and receive my B.A in Communication Arts.
Though I have published articles, poetry, devotions and even a play, this Father's Day, it blesses me beyond words to have my dad included in an article for Horizons called, "What Makes A Dad Memorable?" It tickles me to know my dad who loves God and has always been a godly man and loving father will be honored as a role model for good dads everywhere.
The article states in my own words, "From Pennsylvania, Kelly L. shared a realization that struck her in adulthood. "My dad has struggled with rheumatoid arthritis all of his life. In 2001, I was taking strong chemotherapy for cancer. Dad took me to chemotherapy sessions, and I hated going to the last one because the cancer was gone and I was sick as a dog. 'Do it for the people you love,' Dad urged. In that moment, I understood how my dad had suffered silently with his pain for all of these years, working with arthritic hands (he made and hung custom blinds and shades) for the people he loved."
I'm going to give him the article in a beautifully matted frame. Can't wait for my dad to see how very much he is loved.
Love you Dad!