18 June, 2007

Happy Father's Day Dad

I am a daddy's girl. No doubt about it. I don't know that I have ever been anything different.

I went through the phase when I realized my dad was human, and well, I am still a daddy's girl.

During the 80's, when the news was filled with discussion of the Cold War and the Arms Race, my dad would sit with me on my occasional bouts of fear regarding the end of the world. He would not attempt to make me feel better. He would not tell me I was being ridiculous. He would listen. It is a gift I hope that I give my daughter as listening is such a gift.

When I left to spend a year in Europe, my dad boarded the plane, after I was already seated, just to tell me he loved me. Something I never doubted, but that he felt he needed to say.

My dad has moved fifty plus plants from apartment to apartment and finally to my home. He has driven hundreds of miles just to share a birthday lunch, stiffened his upper lip and dealt with DC traffic just to spend time with the Diva and me, and is now on his way (with my mom) to play fix-it man, driver, tourist, baby-sitter, cat tender, and referee (between my mom and myself) for about two weeks.

My dad is a kid and animal magnet. I don't think that there has ever been a kid or an animal that wasn't drawn to him. They know a good heart (sucker) when they see one.

When I found out I was pregnant, I called my dad. My mom wasn't very happy about this, but I called my dad. He laughed. That was just what I needed. He didn't freak out, was not upset, he was just my dad.

My dad is the strong and silent type. He doesn't say anything, in a public setting, unless it is in need of being said. He doesn't waste words. With family and friends, he is always joking - usually with sarcasm, whit, and dry humor. You have to be quick around my dad.

My dad knew that he would marry my mom the first time they met. Truly, love at first site. They have been married for nearly 40 years. I have seen them work through some amazing situations, but they have done it.

A few years ago my dad was the primary care giver when my grandmother fell prey to cancer. She had skin cancer - normal, everyday skin cancer, the kind of cancer that people have cut off their arms etc without issue. She refused to get it cut off fearing that it would spread. It took about two years for the cancer to metastasize and eventually kill her. My dad watched, supported, and stayed with her throughout this process.

I write this only because, shortly after my grandma died, my dad was diagnosed with level 9 aggressive prostate cancer. It was/is tough on him, but, having supported my grandmother through her death, my dad was/is determined to fight and live. He has had operations, radiation, and is now on a drug, which seems to be the only thing that will work given the stage and type of cancer he has.

But this has not slowed him down in the slightest. He was just promoted to a better job, loves spending time with the Diva - whether it be tracking, rock climbing (which he wants to try himself), reading, or exploring, is spending more time exploring different parts of this country with my mom, just finished developing a sprinkler system for his berry patches... he simply loves life, perhaps more than he has in the past.

My dad taught me to take responsibility for my actions, to be held accountable for what I say, do, and the person that I am, to have integrity. he taught me to have a gentle heart, to love animals and nature. I have learned so much from my dad - and now I am learning about the importance of quality of life, enjoying what we have, and taking advantage of the time we have together.

And that... is my dad


ruby said...

Your dad sounds like a wonderful man, I hope Diva gets to have as many wonderful experiences with him as you have had. I'm sorry to hear he's not well but I am glad that the drugs/treatments are working and that he can live his life to the fullest. This was a very touching post.

JustRun said...

What a wonderful post! Your dad sounds awesome!

Anonymous said...

He sounds like a very impressive guy.

cathouse teri said...

I enjoyed hearing about all the good dads. I had begun to think it was unusual to find one.

brookem said...

your dad sounds truly wonderful. i will keep you and him and your family in my thoughts.

The Exception said...

Ruby - Thanks. They are increasingly close, which I love seeing.

Just Run - He is awesome. One of a kind.

Teri - I hear ya. It is so nice to hear about the good ones - and there are lots of them out there we just don't hear that much about them.

Brookem - Thanks. Every six months we go through another round of anxiety as he has blood work done, but he is a fighter. He has three very important women in his life to keep him going! (My mom, me, and the Diva)

Carrie said...

Great post for father's day. Here's to his recovery and enjoying every day to the fullest.

The Dummy said...

Wow.. you have a truly amazing dad.

TAG said...

You dad would love nothing better than to look back on his life and see words as eloquent as these in tribute.

What a wonderful fathers day gift.


TxGambit said...

(sniff, sniff)

That is such a sweet post. He sounds like the type of man everyone should know.

I'm glad you have him. :)

Anonymous said...

When I read these sorts of posts, I have hope there really are good men out there. I am soooooo glad you have one of them as your dad!!

I have tagged you on my blog

The Exception said...

Carrie - Thanks. He had a good day, I think!

The Dummy - Thanks. He doesn't know how amazing he is, which makes him that much more.

TAG - I thought about showing him what I wrote. How often do we write or share the fabulousness of another without letting the subject of our thoughts know themselves.

TX - he is great. I hope that some of his personality rubbed off on me and my brother.

Ba Doozie - There are great guys out there. I like to think that they are not as difficult to find as it sometimes seems!

TAG said...

You should absolutely share with your dad. I find myself telling people every day that tomorrow is not guaranteed to any of us. Do the things that need to be done TODAY. We can always hope for more chances in the future to communicate with loved ones. But, sometimes it just isn't possible.

Print it and send it to him (or call and read it to him). He will cherish it always.