Today is Fathers’ Day which of course means that Facebook and Twitter are littered with everyone proclaiming they have the best dad in the world. While I’m sure that their dads are great, I have to admit that when it comes to the father-figure department I’m the luckiest girl. In addition to having the world’s greatest daddy, I have several uncles would would gladly fill the gaps if needed or provide dad with any necessary “back up” (i.e. they have a lot of guns, real ones so watch out future boyfriends.)
I also have one of the greatest grandpa’s in the world. My Paw-Paw loves every single one of his 7 grand children and 2 great grand-children well. He taught us how to fish among a ton of other farm related tasks. He is funny, kind and gives the greatest cards. Maw, Paw-Paw’s wife & my grandma, was the one who picked out birthday & christmas cards. When she passed away Paw-Paw added his own spin to the task. He makes birthday cards out of “thinking of you cards” or some other not related holiday. He’s also an expert at re-gifting cards. Y’all his cards are EVERYONE’s favorites to get (one of my favorites is below). They are funny and loving. I’m not kidding when I say that how reusable a card will be is one of the factors used when we pick a birthday/fathers day card out for him. Paw-Paw is also an expert gardener who single handledly keeps our entire family in fresh veggies all summer. He knows so much about growing and caring for plants that I still call and ask his advice rather than Google it. Granted, sometimes he tells me to google it. But still, that’s not the point. Also, I love that my grandpa is more techno-saavy than your’s. He has facebook, email and a Kindle Fire. He also knows how to use them.
Paw-Paw is also responsible, along with my grandmother of course, for raising the man I call my favorite daddy. In honor of Fathers’ Day let me tell you just a few reason why I am I am thankful for my dad.
- Every valentines day for as long as I can remember he’s given or sent me flowers.
- Even though I’m his only daughter, he makes sure I know I’m his favorite one. While that may seem silly, it means a lot.
- He has always encouraged me to follow my dreams and do cool things. He very rarely tells me what I should do. The more I work with college students, the more I appreciate that.
- Dad has never encouraged us to be “normal” or “average” and has always believed big things for my brothers and I. My mom chose my first name after a dream, but my dad picked my middle name. My first name is one of the most popular names from the 80s (and perhaps in all the history of names), but I’ve only met one other person with my middle name- Gail. I asked him once where that came from since it’s not a common name. He first responded by telling me that he just liked it. Then he followed it up by saying “I didn’t want you to have a common name, because I didn’t want you to be common.”
made me watchtaught me about sports and raised me to be a UK fan.
- My dad is a man of few words, but the words he does have carry great weight and wisdom.
- He taught me to appreciate good classic music. Like Styx.
- Daddio is almost always calm regardless of the situation and handles things with that attitude. I can never think of a time something I did caused him to raise his voice and only remember one or two times he’s yelled. Both examples of yelling were when one of my brothers did/said something to hurt my mom. I could really stand to be a bit more like him.
- He taught me how to drive which resulted in fewer tears then when he tried to teach me how to do algebra. That was a win for sure. (Free advice- never let an engineer teach you basic algebra. It won’t work, I promise.)
- He goes to work every single day to provide for his family. He has missed one day of work in 24 years at the same company. He doesn’t go to work because he loves his job, but because he loves his family.
- He always takes care of us. I have to think my mom knew this would be true when she got her first gift from my dad- a pair of jumper cables for her car. For Christmas the year after I finished my masters degree my mom wanted to buy me one of those pink “girl” tool sets. My dad reportedly told her that there was no way his daughter was going to have a girly tool set. So he went to Lowe’s and got my “tool set”. I now have a triangle/square thing (which I did actually use once), and two different kinds of hand saws (still in the wrapper which means I need to build something), some awesome screw drivers, a real tool box and a bunch of other things. They were all wrapped in a giant black trash bag. The only girly thing is that they all match. No pink to be seen. I was really glad he did that and saved me from girly tool bag.
- He can fix just about everything (as long as you’re ok with working on his timeline). He willingly spends a part of his summer vacation doing work for me at my house without too much complaining. He doesn’t have to do that, I know he would rather not, but he still always does.
- While every year I find more ways I’m becoming my mother, some of my favorite things I inherited from my dad. Such things include- sarcastic sense of humor, introverted personality, green eyes, and a love for writing, photography, UK sports and learning in general.
The older I get the more I realize just how lucky I am to have a dad like mine as well as the other father figures in my life. There are statistics galore about the impact growing up without a father has on children (increased high school drop out rates, poverty, crime, etc.). Each year I hear more stories from friends and students about dads who mistreat their children, run away from their families or in some other way cause harm.
I know without a doubt that I’m not just blessed to have had a dad physically there, but one who loves being my dad. When I hear sermons urging dads to step up and offering advice on fatherhood, I find myself mentally checking that list off for my dad. I know that I am the woman I am today because I am a product of my Dad and Paw-Paw. They are men who do what it takes to love and care for their families while pointing them to God in the process. They (along with my uncles) are examples that truly great men do exist. There are not words to explain how thankful I am for them except maybe God bless my future husband who will have to live up to their examples.