"A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be."
A couple of days ago, I got a phone call from my dad. He and my stepmom were out of town but would be coming home on Saturday, and he wanted to know if I they could stop by on their way because he had bought me a "little gift." When The Brain takes over, keeping track of the days of the week often becomes a challenge for me so when my dad called me yesterday to see where I was, I was surprised. The Brain had recorded the day that they would stop by as Friday and when they didn't, I just figured that they were too tired. No problem, though, they just came over to the business where I was.
When they walked in, my dad had a shopping bag in his hand and when he passed it off to me, he said, "Happy Father's Day, Carleen!" Confused and thinking that I was obviously not the only one in the family who had difficulty keeping days straight, I laughed and took the bag.
I've written before about my childhood doll, the one I'm holding in the photo above, and how I tease / harass my dad for throwing it away because it started looking really ratty. Yesterday, my dad made good:
The "little gift" and the reason for him wishing me a Happy Father's Day was this adorable red-headed doll. Even I have to admit that she looks much better than the original and besides, this one is wearing her clothes and sings "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star"! She will have a special spot in the spare bedroom, where I know for sure she'll be safe.
Dad, you're a great guy. Now it's my turn:
When you were young, pony-tailed,
face full of playful freckles,
were you a daddy's girl?
I was. I still am.
Did you look to him for your security,
for love and attention,
for the understanding, and the patience you lacked
as a child?
My daddy was the center of my small world,
the focus of my affections,
the star that lit my life, shining bright.
Shining still in my heart.
The years have led me here,
weathered with maturity and responsibilities,
and I see more clearly now.
The hardships, burdens of love,
and all the small sacrifices he made for me,
for our family.
He created stability, a place to call home.
All the photographs I browse through
of a child long forgotten, scarcely remembered
smiling, so happy and so loved.
The mere thought of becoming that role model
is enough to send me cowering, afraid...
looking for guidance.
Turning to my father and my more for support,
advice, wise counsel, and for approval.
Grown up, I see differently now...
A new perspective of a man I have always known.
My heart is full, my emotions overpowering
just in the certainty of that bond.
He's been there for me through all the conflicts
helping me over the rough, ragged stones of growing up.
My respect for him is unending,
faith is unbound, and love is unquestioning.
Even in the midst of all my imperfections, he is lenient,
ignoring the pitfalls, the downfalls, the shortcomings,
he just accepted me as I was, as I am.
The sheer purity of it leaves me awe-struck
and it lifts me up, it holds my head a little higher,
it keeps me in balance,
harmonizing with the world around me
beautifully, like an inspired masterpiece from the soul
of an honest man.
I am honored to know him, to love him, to be of him.
He's my hero, and I am his daughter, his little girl.