It’s been four months. I don’t know why I haven’t felt like blogging. Maybe life has just gotten crazy busy and I let it slip away from me. Or maybe I just have had other priorities. But, either way, I love it…and I miss it. My friend Heather tells me it’s my therapy. And I think she’s right. So, I decided it was time to get back in the swing of it.
Throughout the past few weeks, my dad’s health has been declining pretty rapidly. We aren’t giving up hope, and we aren’t letting go…but we are definitely hurting. I’ve turned on the computer so many times in the past few weeks, wanting to blog about another lesson from my amazing dad, wanting to share more about what he’s taught me…but I find myself feeling…blah. My head numbly uninspired, my heart incredibly heavy.
Then last night, as I was driving home, it hit me.
I keep trying to think of these fancy things to write…
When all I really want to do is write about how much I love him.
Lessons From My Dad #4…There is no time like the present to tell someone how much you love them.
I’m pretty sure this is a lesson that he’s inadvertently taught me. Nothing we ever sat down and talked about, nothing that we ever learned about growing up, but something that the experiences of the past few years have taught me. Life is precious. It’s special. And each day is a blessing. So live without regrets. If someone means the world to you, tell them. Heck, tell everyone you know about them.
I decided that sounded like a pretty good idea.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE LOVES THE LORD. Our Savior permeates through his being. You can’t help but feel God when you’re around my dad. He’s always had a strong faith, but the past two years, throughout his journey with cancer, it’s grown leaps and bounds. He’s proclaimed the goodness of God, despite his circumstances, on a continual basis. He’s bragged about His sovereignty and been a witness of His healing power. He’s told others about his relationship with God and how it’s the only way to eternal life. The ONLY way. He’s not ashamed, he’s not timid, it just flows out of him…it’s who he is. But people don’t just believe him because he shares it. They believe him because he lives it. He’s not ashamed to live a life that is bold, brave, and different…and it’s beautifully contagious.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE TAUGHT ME I WAS WORTH IT. I had awkward stages like most every other girl in the world…but my dad always made me feel special. From my brace-face teenage years to the day he walked me down the aisle; I always felt beautiful to him. I had the confidence, from a very young age, that I mattered. But more than that, I mattered to my dad…the one man that could shape my life more than any other. Because of this, my heart grew with an assurance that I was worth something. And because I was worth a lot to him, I knew I was worth a lot in others’ eyes, too. I struggled with dating, wanting to find my worth in relationships. I dated a few weirdos…but I also dated a lot of great, God fearing men. However, none stood up to what I knew God had for me. None stood up to my dad. Over the years, my list of “expectations” became longer and longer. But despite my doubts, I knew, deep inside, that God would bring that man to me. I knew it, because I knew it existed. I saw it in my dad. And, just like my dad promised, God came through for me. Never thought I’d wait until I was 31 to get married…but as I celebrated my wedding that beautiful day in October, I knew that my dad was right…I was worth it.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE ALWAYS HAS TIME FOR ME. He was never “too busy” for us when we were growing up; he always had time to play with us, to listen, to laugh. And today, nothing has changed. At the drop of a hat, he is there for me when I need it, to give me advice, to encourage me, to lift me up. He always has time for me…and even though I’m an adult, I’m still like a child when it comes to my daddy. I’ll always need him. I’ll always want to run to him. And I know, just like my Heavenly Father, he’ll always be there.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE GETS MY SENSE OF HUMOR. If there is one thing in life we both understand, it’s that we are hilarious. Especially when we’re together. We talk, on a frequent basis, about how it’s really too bad that more people don’t recognize exactly how funny we truly are. My husband might not quite get it yet. We’ll be hanging out, and he’ll make a silly comment…only I won’t laugh. He’ll just shake his head and say, “If your dad said that, you’d be rolling on the floor laughing.” Oops. Sad, but true. We just “get” each other. We always have, always will. We’re just not sure why people don’t understand that we are the funniest people on earth. Oh well. At least we do.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE PLANNED FOR MY FUTURE. This may seem like a really weird and non-sentimental one, but to me, it’s so important. Honestly, looking back, it’s crazy to think of how much of my life has been impacted by one decision in particular…his decision to pay my way through college. Dad raised us to be smart with our money; it wasn’t even ours to begin with, it was God’s. We were taught to save, tithe, and give, from an early age. As we grew, we saw how he would plan financially, and how much easier it made life for our family. Because he worked extra hard to pay my way through college, I left with no debt. And it was a domino effect after that. Because I left with no debt, I had no debt of my own to pay off when I got married. Because I had not debt to pay off, my husband and I were able to begin to plan for our future without additional financial burdens. Because we were able to plan for our future freely, we were able to start trying for a family. And in June of this year, we will welcome our first child into the world. My dad’s selfless choices and priorities allowed me to live my life to its fullest…and I’m so grateful.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE HE LOVES ME UNCONDITIONALLY. When I was born, my mom said he just stared at me. I mean, I’m sure I was pretty darn cute! I was the first baby he’d ever held, and although I’m sure he was nervous, I’d say he picked the whole ‘dad thing’ up pretty quickly. He loved me when it was easy, when I was a sweet, charming, pig-tailed little girl…when I’d crawl up in his lap and look at him like he created the universe. And he loved me when it was hard, when I was an unruly, stubborn, teenager…when I wouldn’t listen, when I didn’t think he was “cool”. Funny how life works out…because now I think he’s pretty much the coolest thing. EVER.
I LOVE MY DAD BECAUSE THERE IS NO ONE ON THE EARTH LIKE HIM. While he is the only dad I’ve ever known, I’m certain he’s the absolute best. My life is more beautiful, more rich, and definitely more blessed…all because of him. He’s my hero, my strength, my rock, my inspiration. He holds a part of my heart that no one else can ever have, and no one else ever will. I can’t imagine the person I would be today without his presence, his love, and his wisdom in my life.
Daddy…I will forever be grateful that God allowed me to be your daughter.
I love you. Today, tomorrow, forever. Always.