Among all this recent planning for kids, I can't help but think about my own Dad on Father's Day. A big part of who I am (more than just my looks) is a reflection of him, and because of the adoption process, I've been thinking a lot about what really makes someone a mother or a father. Anyone who knows my Dad is quick to tell you he is a special man, but this is why I think he is a special FATHER...
My Dad is really really Funny. Sometimes intentionally, but most of the time it just happens. Not many people know that my Dad woke me most mornings until I graduated high school and moved away, with his best "Elmo" voice. I still have no idea why he chose this character because we didn't have a TV to watch Sesame Street growing up, and I'm pretty sure I never owned one single stuffed Elmo. Of course, my brothers and I will never let him live down the story of him singing his version of Aerosmith's Dude Looks Like a Lady, which he was absolutely sure was "Do the Funky Lady". Or the time he tried to give my poor Aunt Polly the Heimlich maneuver when she really wasn't choking (just too tickled at him to breathe!) Whether telling a story (missing a few details), making embarassing jokes about his bald head(if you've heard it you know why I'm embarrassed), or just being his goofy self, my Dad never fails to leave the people around him in a laughing heap.
My Dad is completely Authentic. Never did the phrase "what you see is what you get" apply to someone so perfectly. He is honest (sometimes to a fault) about almost everything. I have never had to wonder what my Dad thought about any guy I brought home, how I looked going out, and most importantly if he loved me. He has been sure to tell me exactly how he feels. My Dad has a genuine love for God, his family, and the people around him, and his life reflects that. His priorities are set in stone, and his stubbornness sometimes works to his advantage(sorry mom)! He lives out what he believes and leaves no room for doubt in the minds of those around him. Just ask him his opinion or advice about anything (I mean anything) and he's sure to give you something to think about. He's also not afraid to cry. He's shown me that it's OK to be vulnerable and show your emotions...and then laugh really hard!
My Dad was made to be a Teacher. Unfortunately, I was not around yet when my Dad was a "certified" teacher, but I have seen him in a mentoring role all of my life. He has a natural knack for leadership and he has always enjoyed spending time with other people, whether his peers or those younger, sharing the most important part of his life-his relationship with God. I can't tell you how many members of our family, different friends, and complete strangers down and out have worked with him on his small construction crew over the years. Not really because they had a skill set that he needed, but because he enjoyed investing time with them and giving them a job that offered more than just a paycheck. Don't let his tough exterior fool you, he has a big heart full of mercy ready to give. He has taught me so many things...from driving a car(well actually his old 55 model dump truck) to loving people even when they make it really hard.
My Dad is Hard working. So yea, not only did my Dad build our house with his two hands...he built it twice! After the home that we lived in for 10 years, he and my Mom worked so hard to design and build, paid off just the month before, burned; my Dad picked up the pieces and built it again! He told us all that this time it would be better (my Mom told him it was already perfect), and his morale kept us going. We like to joke that my Dad can fall asleep anywhere. (When I was little I would climb on the back of the sofa where he sat slumbering, and tie his thinning short hair into tiny pigtails before he woke up!) Now I know he works so hard, the minute he stops his body crashes. If he's not at work doing construction, he's working on the car, fixing something for the grand kids, working on one of his kids houses, or tilling in the garden. He has always been a provider for our family and taught his kids the importance of a good work ethic.
My Dad is a great Example. I knew that when I found a man who loved me the way my Dad loved my Mom, I had met my husband. Every morning he starts his day at 5am...bringing my Mother coffee in bed. He still likes to surprise her, even though he's probably not as good at it now as he used to be. He is appreciative of what she does for our family. He helps her around the house...not afraid to do "women's work" as Jordan likes to joke (he's also quite good at this). He kisses her in public (ewww), and because he put their relationship first, our family has stuck together though hard times.
My dad is my Rolemodel. I have a lot of people that I look up to, but only a few that I hold so close to my heart. I still trust his advice, love his company, and fear the day that he's not a phone call away. So this Father's day, I am truly grateful for the man I call Dad. I love you Daddy, and I can't wait to make you a "grand"dad again!