one of the greatest men i’ve ever known

The earliest memory I have of my dad is when I was probably 3 or 4. I was cuddled up in has lap on the rocking chair in the living room of our apartment and dozing in and out of sleep. He was talking to someone and I remember that the vibration of his voice against my ear was like a lullaby.

Of the five of us kids, I’d say that I have the personality that is most like my father’s. We’re both extremely passionate, stubborn, friendly, extroverted, big-time talkers. I’ve heard that in a lot of relationships, this is almost a recipe for disaster, but that’s never been the case with us. He was always my buddy, my hero.

My dad is literally the hardest-working man I know. He took the responsibility of provider very seriously, and I’ve never known him to have only one job. There have been times when he’s had three jobs. Three. He’s part of a dying breed of men who aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty. Who aren’t afraid to be uncomfortable for the sake of their family. Who don’t understand boredom. How can you be bored when there’s so much to do?

My parents got married young. Mom was nineteen, Dad, twenty-one, and although they waited 3 years to start a family, the timing was still not perfect. Dad was working two jobs and going to college, and something had to give. He sacrificed school, the thing he probably loved most, {of the jobs and school; obviously, he loved me and mom more!} because books don’t put food on the table.

You know what? Even without that pretty diploma, my dad is still the smartest man I know. I’m sure to you, that just seems like hero-worship, something I’m supposed to say. But I’m for real. I know a couple of PhD’s and several people with Master’s Degrees and I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that my dad is smarter than they are. Just because he wasn’t in school, he never stopped learning. He’s an avid reader. He studies things like Philosophy, World Religions, Christian Theology, Politics, and on and on the list goes. If ever asked to a conference with R.C. Sproul and Ravi Zacharias, my dad could more than hold his own. He’d probably even give them things to think about. My husband {who’s also a smart man} was actually mad at a book my dad gave him to read because he said even educated people would struggle with the ideas and terminology in the book. My dad has read it casually and without difficulty several times. He can debate circles around people and he does so with an incredible amount of finesse. He can concede when he’s wrong,  and more often than not, you almost love him more when you leave the debate with him.

My dad is not afraid of emotions. We never had to guess if our daddy loved us. NEVER. He freely gives hugs and kisses, and if you were to hang in my circle, you would see that my friends even feel the same way. Everyone calls him Dad. With five kids, I used to wonder how he could love us all equally. He once said to me “Loving your kids isn’t like having a pie and splitting the pieces among everyone. Every time you have a new child, you get a new pie.” Forrest Gump has chocolate, my Dad has pie. Men must relate everything to dessert.

My Dad & Mom will be married 30 years next year. I knew what I wanted in a husband because of the way my Dad treats my mom. She is his princess, he loves and adores her and they have a wonderful marriage because my Mom is the same way with him. {except for the princess part, but you knew that.}

I have so many great memories from my childhood because of the way my parents sacrificed for us. We didn’t live in a huge house, but we had family, and that really was enough. We ate dinner together every night, we played games, took day trips to the beach and Hershey Park every year, and every one of those activities were a blast because they made them that way. They treated every opportunity with their kids as an exciting event that was chock full o’ memories to be reflected on in the days and years to come.

I’m grown now, but my Dad is still providing for me in many ways. His advice is always full of the wisdom he acquires through his very strong relationship with Jesus. He puts scripture first, and lives his life accordingly.

Last week, my dad took off of work {his day-job as a mailman – he still has 2 jobs, and still had to go in to his nighttime one} just so he could come down to my house and re-do the landscaping of my very sad-looking yard. He’s a giver in the purest sense of the word. After just a couple of days of back-breaking work, my yard doesn’t look so sad anymore. There’s still more to do {isn’t there always more to do?} but I feel far less overwhelmed and disgusted when I look outside. I’m actually proud of my yard now.

When I had some time to reflect on what my Dad was doing for me, it brought me to tears. He has his own home to tend and a laundry list of things to do on his days off, but he came to my home to do something for me. It’s really humbling when you think about it. The man never gets a break, he just goes and goes and goes, but he’s willing to sacrifice his own personal time and comforts for his family.

I could go on and on about my Daddy. I could tell you funny stories and stories that would bring tears to your eyes. None of it would even scrape the surface of the wonderful character and person that my Dad is. But at the very least, I hope you know him a little better, because he’s one of the greatest men I’ve ever known.


5 Responses to “one of the greatest men i’ve ever known”

  1. 1 melissa October 18, 2010 at 10:47 am

    your dad is pretty awesome!!! you guys will look back and be so honored that he was YOUR dad! :-)

  2. 2 Kaila October 18, 2010 at 11:02 am

    You’re dad really is so great. I saw all of those amazing qualities in him the first time I ever met him… you are lucky to have him and he is lucky to have a daughter who loves him as much as you do!

  3. 4 lifelemons October 18, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I LOVE your Dad! He is one of the best! Which reminds me I need to visit him; it’s been forever!

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