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