Thursday, July 4, 2013

A Love Letter to my Dad

Hi Friends,

First things first, Happy Birthday to my dad (well, it's his birthday month)! I love my dad so much!

Here is my dad (mom, older bro Rick, and me) at the beach in South Carolina in the 1970s (check out those shaggy hairstyles  on everyone but dad!!!!):
 Here we are again many, many, many years later (same house, same family):
 Here we are at my high school graduation in Wiesbaden, Germany, in an Opera House (cool, huh?):
Here we are again at my college graduation (Elon University). And his mom, my nana, is in this photo too (white haired lovely lady). Do you remember those Ray Bans shades?:

And here we are at my wedding in Hilton Head, South Carolina:
As I shared in my love letter to my mom recently,
perhaps I was especially close to both of my parents growing up because we moved often (I counted 9 moves by the time I went to college) so I needed to rely on my family more than some kids might.
What I Learned From My Dad
I learned a lot of great character traits from my dad over the years. I wanted to share some of them with you today. I love my dad very much.
Here we go. ......
1. Passion
My dad is a passionate person. Whether it's about his career, golf, his beloved college (The Citadel) or watching sports (the Nationals and the Redskins), he fills his bucket with his passions. He is aware of what his passions are and makes time in his life to enjoy his passions. One of his past passions that he shared with me was running. When I lived at home for a couple of years after college (working as a nanny and attending graduate school), I started running around local lakes with my dad. This was a passion we could share together. I think it's very important to know what you're really passionate about and take time in your daily/weekly life to focus on your passions. Perhaps because I was single until I was 35 years old, I had a lot of time to be with myself and figure out my passions. I still love to run around a lake outside. I also love to read (another of my dad's passions too), craft/decorate, and listen to music. I thank my dad for being a great example of someone following his passions. I hope to support my own children in following their passions. Currently, my daughter is passionate about music and dancing. My son is passionate about riding his bike. Thanks for being a terrific role model who is passionate, dad!
2. Always Supportive
My dad is a rock. He is one of the most solid, stable people I know. He's the guy you want around in times of crisis. There are two times of crisis I can remember when my dad was there for me that I want to share with you.
First, when I was a freshmen in college my parents lived in Germany and I attended Elon University in North Carolina, America. The first opportunity that I got to go home to see my parents was for the Christmas holiday. As you can imagine, I was super homesick by that time of year and couldn't wait to see my parents and spend the holidays with them. The night before I was to board a plane and fly home, I realized that I did not have my passport. After calling my dad in Germany, we realized that he had inadvertently taken my passport back to Germany with him after dropping me off at college back in August (see, he was always taking care of things). I asked him what I should do. He very calmly said, "Don't worry about it. Just explain to the airline in the morning what happened. You'll get home." Well, honestly, since my dad was so calm and solid, I wasn't worried. Well, the rest of the story DID NOT go so smoothly. Let's just say that maybe the airline suspected that I was a terrorist, I don't honestly know. But, I do know, they were not letting me on that flight to Germany. After quietly walking into a bathroom stall at the airport and falling apart for a few minutes, I pulled myself together and called my brother COLLECT (this was the end of my first semester of college....I had spent all of my money! and this was before the time of cell phones AND credit cards! can you even imagine such a time?!!!!) at his college in South Carolina. I can't believe my brother was actually there and answered the phone...but we know sometimes that is how the universe works when we need it too. Anyway, I told my brother of my problem (stranded at an airport with no money and no one around that I knew and no way to get home for the holidays). My brother took down the phone number of the phone booth that I was calling from in the airport and promised to call my dad. I sat and waited by the phone. Many minutes later another phone from a different phone booth rang (either my brother wrote the number down incorrectly or my dad had copied it down wrong) where a taxi driver I had befriended answered it. My dad said, "Do you see a young woman who has been crying around there?" The taxi driver handed the phone to me. My dad calmly told me not to worry, help was on the way. A few minutes later, one of my dad's good friends arrived at the airport with his son to help me. My dad's friend went to the airline workers and must have worked some magic because I got on that flight home to Germany for the holidays. When my plane landed in Germany, my name was called over the plane intercom to come forward first. I was escorted off of the plane. I can honestly tell you when I walked down the airport corridor and saw my dad, I cried some very messy, happy tears. A lot of them!
Second story of how my dad is supportive. During my late twenties, one of my best friend's had her girlfriends travel to Maine with her to celebrate her bachelorette weekend (fishing, boating, eating lobster, relaxing, game playing, was great!). After flying back home and dropping off one of my friends from the flight, my car broke down on the side of the highway around midnight. This time I did have a cell phone and you know who the first person I called was....DAD. He didn't hesitate. Even though he had to go to work early the next morning, he drove to where my car was parked along the side of the road, and sat in the car with me to keep me company while we waited for the tow truck. That's my dad. You call. He comes. No problem.
There are many, many, many (so many!) more stories similar to these two. It's amazing how many times in my life my dad has been there for me. And he's been there for other people in his life too. What a great trait to have. I hope that I can try to be such a solid, stable, and supportive person to my family and friends. Thanks for EVERYTHING dad.
3. Hard Working
My dad is a passionate, hard working man. I have never in my life heard my dad complain about going to work. I am sure there were days when maybe he was tired or not feeling up to it but he didn't show it. He always was and continues to be passionate about his work. My dad taught me how awesome it is to find work that you are passionate about and want to do. I feel so blessed that I've been able to find my work niche in life that I whole heartedly enjoy. I wish that for my children as well, to find work that they are passionate about and that fills their bucket.
More pictures of my awesome dad-
I love you dad! Thanks for all of your guidance, support, and love!
Your almost birthday twin-
Your Little Angle (inside joke!)-

1 comment:

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