When you are a little girl, your father is one of the biggest pieces of your world. He is magical and awesome. He is the smartest person you know. When you are with him you feel safe and protected, loved and adored. The hugs he gives are unmatched by anyone else. No one can mess with you as long as you have your Daddy; he can make all of your pains go away with just one kiss. He is your first true love and you will spend the rest of your life comparing the men you meet to him. Those can be some pretty big shoes to fill.
Unconditional love. This my father has taught me. As a parent, this is an important quality. When I was a teenager I began to withdraw a bit from my father. I know this is pretty typical teenage girl stuff and I can't tell you when exactly this began to happen. We both made some mistakes with each other but there was never ever a doubt in my mind that he loved me anyway, and I him. At that age there is usually going to be a butting of heads, I know. The reasons are unimportant. The important part was the unconditional love that we have for each other and being able to meet again on the other side. He was there for me.
A true believer. My biggest fan. My father is a very talented guitar player. His passion for music and his abilities were, thankfully, passed on to my brothers and myself. He supported me in my efforts with music. He gave me my first (and second and third) guitar, drove me to lessons, came to every concert and show. He had part of our garage converted into a music room for us and equipped it with all we could need. I was the first girl in my high school to be in her own rock band and this could not have been possible without him. He was there for us every step of the way. He even went out and helped us get t-shirts made up. He was a cool Dad to have.
My Dad is a trooper. He would do anything for me. I remember a time when I was in high school that he did me a favor I will never forget. It was shortly after he and my Mom had separated. I wanted my hair dyed and figured I would have to wait until I could get over to Mom's apartment. He offered to dye it for me. Now, I have a ton of hair and it can be quite a task, but he was totally willing. The best part about this story is that my Dad is not a small man and the gloves that come with the hair dye are definitely not made for hands like his. The gloves did not take their time to rip open but he just kept on going. My hair turned out beautiful and his poor hands were stained for a while. What a great Dad to do that for his only daughter. Another moment that I will never forget is from him at my wedding. He walked me down the isle, precious, and later played the guitar until his fingers bled. True devotion.
|Devotion in Action|
What is in a name? In my opinion, honor. All five of my children have a family name as one of their names, first or middle, and then their other name is one I just liked and found unique. One of my new twin babies received the middle name, James, in honor of my father. My father does not actually use this name for reasons which are his own and not my story to tell. I will say that his reasons are valid and I respect them. I asked his permission to use this name and am very glad he allowed me to. Now I have "E" James, and here is why...
My father is a good man. He is a wonderful father and has twelve, almost thirteen, adoring grandchildren. One of my brothers was named after my father, David. My brother passed this name onto his first born son as his middle name. So, in actuality, passing on "James" may not have been entirely necessary but it was still very important to me. Growing up I always felt like this name was almost a taboo. I feel my father deserves better than that. These grandchildren are part of his legacy and the future of this family. The future is ours to mold and I thought it time to turn this name into a positive. My son E will wear it with pride, as was the way I gave it to him.
My father is a big part of who I am even though he is not a "mother". He is one of the many influences I have had in my life. Without our relationship, I would not have turned out the same, and I kinda like how I turned out so far. Ha! We have had our ups and our downs but in the end I would not change a thing. These are all pieces of the puzzle that is me. I will parent my children using our past and our present as examples. I hope to offer my children the same level of devotion and unconditional love that my father bestowed upon me. I hope to support them through all of their endeavors and remain their biggest fan. Thanks for being there for me always, Daddy. I love you always and forever.