- "My father didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
-- Clarence Budington Kelland, U.S. Writer
He continues to do so and I'm blessed to see so much of Heavenly Father in him.
Now more than ever before I look back on parenting, my own parents, my friends parents and my how my siblings parent. In each group I treasure the moments I've been allowed to share with them. As we continue this process to expand our family, to become parents of our children I find that every day brings emotion to my life...worries, excitement, anticipation and delight because of the examples I was given. I pray that God continues to bless our family, that we continue to seek His guidance and that we will always walk in the footsteps he has laid out for us as we begin this new journey. It is days like today that bring me even closer to God...
Today is a day that reminds me of so many moments in my life...days where I curled up next to his side, pressed against him letting my eyes close and my heart rest as he protected me from whatever nightmare slipped in; Christmas mornings curled up on his lap as he helped me break through every plastic barrier, crazy twist tie and annoying cardboard box that was in place around She-RA, Barbie, My Little Pony or the newest Cabbage Patch doll - he would pull out a tool, one filled with mechanisms and simplify the process- amazing me with this single ability to always have the right thing to help me. As I got older the lap seemed to grow smaller so I resigned myself to laying against his side, head on his chest and arm over his belly. His beard has always been scratchy on my cheek and his laughter has always made me grin.
I always felt he was mine and mine alone, even with 3 siblings, I am the baby so of course he's mine...but then we would travel...to Omaha to see family, stopping in Kansas or Oklahoma - a random convenience store for a "mom break" (bathroom of course) and almost every time, all around the country from Any town in Bama to Orlando to Omaha to St. Louis to Okoboji to Denver we would run into someone who knew him...yes knew my father. It would baffle all of us and in time be a trait that taught me so much. These people were glad to see him, they would run over, slap him on the back and reminisce about whatever "last time" together they shared. He always met them with a smile, a handshake and a simple how is your family? He always remembered their name, their loved ones and some detail about their life that automatically took a chance meeting of a acquaintance into the realm of finding an old friend. To this day I'll never forget the kindness he's taught me, the ability to smile even when aggravated about something else, the hospitality he always shows...thanksgivings at our house were full: hunters, state troopers, local cops, game wardens, random travelers...I learned about welcoming your home to those less fortunate, those who may have more than you and to open your heart to all walks of life from puppies, to kittens and beyond. His heart always has room to give and love. He taught me to love how things work, to be curious about mechanical issues, to never let my mind quit wondering "how", "why" and "what can I do to help". He made my sweet Marcus always feel like family, from the first non date dinner to the first real date dinner at home, where a boy sat across from a man and grinned as he was invited to "chew on the bone of a T-bone steak" forever cementing a bond that still brings a smile to my husbands face. I am never afraid when I'm with him, I know he is strong in body, mind and heart. God have me earthly parents who are beyond words, beyond description and beyond measure. I am my best because of them and the love I hold in my heart is strongest because they love me.
I am grateful for my family, I'm humbled by their love and today I cherish moments beside a mountaintop, hours walking through the woods, weekends along creek beds, rambling on four wheelers, a bearded man sitting cross legged having a tea party with a girl and her dolls, afternoons talking sports, days on end of squishy belly pillows and scratchy chin kisses. He is where my broad shoulders come from - strong enough to carry my future children, where my stubbornness joins the same gift from mom making me ambitious and annoying at times, He is where I get my love of animals, my desire to help and my compassionate heart. He is my first hero, the one who taught me to hug with all my might and the man I looked for in the man I married - I treasure the phrase "sometimes you marry someone just like your father" and the man my own husband continues to treasure as another father in this great life. I thank you Heavenly Father for supplying me with an example of your love in all the earthly ways possible, He is exactly who I need and who I know my own children will love for all the same reasons and then some...I love you daddy...
Happy Fathers Day!