A lot of people say that I look like my dad… Maybe it’s the shape of our face. Or the fact that we both, according to my mom, have baby faces and look younger than we actually are. I’d like to think that it’s our rustic good looks. 😉
But for me, the highest compliment is when someone says that I remind me of my dad because of my actions. Because I handled a situation calmly. Because I thought things through. Because I remained level-headed. My dad is one of those guys that everyone loves. In fact, when he and my mom met, she didn’t even know his real name. He was known as “The Peach” because he was a Peach of a guy. Friendly. Always willing to help. Soft-hearted, even if he looks like a mix between Clint Eastwood and Russell Crowe on the outside. I think that we kids loved watching John Wayne movies as a kid mostly because it reminded us of dad. A tough cowboy with a heart of gold.
Dad is one of those rugged outdoorsmen who loves camping under the stars and who thinks that listening to coyotes howl is beautiful… while the rest of us are wide-eyed and terrified. Growing up, I was convinced that he wasn’t afraid of anything. Now I know differently. No one can be that brave. But Dad? He never lets fear hold him back. He’s always strong enough to move forward, as though fear just propels him. I mean, it took serious guts to carve Memere’s turkey every Thanksgiving, while she hovered over his shoulders and informed him that the cooks on the Food Network did it much differently. Dad is just tough like that.
He’s also competitive (another way that I’m very similar to him). He always plays hard and plays to win. Twice I’ve had to drive him home with either a broken leg or a ruined knee. Once he did it at church while playing football with the teens. The second time, he was playing football with me, Nate, my brother, and some guy friends. When I fractured my knee cap while playing sports and someone told me that I was just like my dad, I couldn’t have been prouder. And for the record, I didn’t cry from the pain either!
Yeah, my dad is tough. But he also doesn’t take life too seriously. He loves to laugh. To be silly and to have a good time.
He also taught me that there’s a time and place for being silly. Sometimes, you have to be careful and use good judgment. Like when you’re in his workshop and touching his tools. You can’t let those powertools go to your head.
Well, he might still be working on that one… We all have to start somewhere. (By the way, you should see what he makes with those tools. I’ll have to do a post on that someday. He’s a real carpentar now, just like my Pepere was!).
The thing about my dad is that he has always put his family first. He worked SO hard over the years to make sure that we had more than enough. But unlike many families today, he knew that money wasn’t what would make our family strong. So he also gave of his time. Always had time to throw a ball around or to go for a jog. Always took us on hikes or vacations as a family. We did everything together. And even though I’m grown up now and married, he’s still a HUGE part of my life!
My dad is my hero, and I mean it. He swam hundreds of yards into the ocean when I almost drowned as a small girl. He held me when I had my first breakup and even cried a few tears for the pain he wished I didn’t have to feel. And then he was there to give me away at my wedding when I ended up marrying that very same guy. He was there, standing proud and tall, when I graduated from college. He’s there now when I call with a question about finances or home improvement projects. He’s always there.
And for that, I can’t think him enough.
Happy Birthday, Dad! You’ve taught me SO much, and I hope you know that you did good. You did real good.
I love you so much!!