My dad had a birthday this week. And like it always does, it has me thinking about my dad a little more than usual. He's never far from my thoughts and he's always in my heart. He was the first man in my life and what a gift that has been for me.
Here are just a few things that make him the incredible man I love...
Like how he would wake up with me in the middle of the night to give me my bottle when I was a baby.
How he would come over to our apartment when I was sick, late at night and my mom didn't know what to do. me sitting in the bathtub watching them discuss what to do next if the fever didn't break.
How he wrote "I love you" on the sole of my shoe while I sat next to him in church, my foot propped up over my knee. I still have those shoes. I never wore them again, not wanting it to wear off.
How he wanted to know everything about school and my friends even though, or especially because, I didn't live with him. I remember Saturday mornings as a rolling-my-eyes-at-everything teenager when he would pick me up, just the two of us driving back to his house. I wish I could go back and have those hour long drives, just the two of us.
My dad has seven kids and an amazing ability to make you feel like you are the only one. He loves something fierce.
And he's hilarious. So, so funny. Always makes me laugh.
And patient. The most patient person I've ever known. I can count on one hand the number of times I've seen him mad. It usually had to do with my brother, Isaiah. He's a rowdy one :)
I remember playing flashlight tag, baseball and basketball on the farm. My dad and my step mom both were really great at just wanting to be with us. They weren't the type of parents who shooed us away when they wanted to talk with the grown ups. Never asked us to run along and play with the other kids. There was always a lap for us to sit on, a hug if we needed it...or even if we didn't.
I remember the father daughter dance at our wedding. The only time I cried the entire day. How he held me close and told me over and over again how proud he was of me...of Joe and I.
How he asked if he could pray over Isaac as he held him just after he was born.
There is so much more I could say about my dad but I feel like I'm not doing him justice with the words I've already put down. I love him and I'm thankful for a heavenly father who so graciously gave me an earthly one that is so loving and kind. I can see God's love for me through my dad.
I don't see him nearly as much as I'd like but I know there is an unspoken love, an unspoken bond between us that spans the miles. He is always in my thoughts and most definitely my heart.
I love you, daddy. More than I could ever express, more than you could ever know. Happy Birthday!