Sunday, June 20, 2010


It's after mid-night, which means it is now Sunday morning. Father's Day to be exact. I can't sleep; partially because I have a lot on my mind, and partially because the neighbors are having a pool party- complete with loud music and obnoxious laughter. But, I'm starting to feel like maybe it's all a little orchestrated....a little Providential.

As is typical on sleepless nights, I wandered to the kitchen to log-on to facebook. In doing so, on this dawn of Father's Day, I began to see status updates take the form of tributes to Daddies everywhere; and profile pictures resembling someone's dad instead of themselves, oftentimes as a memorial. Naturally, I thought of my own dad, and joined in on the tributes. But, I realized that there is far more to say than a status update will allow. And, let's face it, a post is LONG overdue. So, it was an easy choice...a no brainer. The difficult part is deciding where to start, and perhaps even more difficult where/when to stop. There is much to say. Much, too much.

I think I'll start with the fact that I have NEVER, EVER doubted how much my Dad loves my mom and the three of us kids. When I really think about it, I wonder why that is. Is it because he told us? Is it because he showed us? Is it because he disciplined us, or taught us right from wrong? Is it because he taught, by example, what work looks like? Do I know that I was/am loved because he welcomed me to snuggle and cuddle as a kid? Or, is it strictly evident because of the way he loves my mom? Maybe it's the sweet way he calls me Shana-girl. Or, how he lights up when I walk in the door of his house after I haven't been 'home' in a while.

I don't know, maybe it has something to do with the way I always felt, and still feel safe, when I'm with him.....the assurance that no thunderstorm, or car trouble, (or whatever) would be too much for my daddy. Now, that I think about it, especially in those terms, maybe it was because he let me crawl in the bed with him & mom when I had a bad dream.

Or, maybe it was/is his patience; and the fact that I very rarely saw him lose his temper. Better yet, maybe it was because one of the few times he did lose his temper was in response to me talking back to my mom; and he simply told me that he would not stand for it. Yeah, that's definitely one of the reasons; and I appreciate that infinitely more now that I'm on the other side of Motherhood.

Speaking of being on the other side of Motherhood, maybe Daddy's love is even more evident now than it was then (if that is even possible) because of the way he loves my kids and the other grandkids. Could it be the way he always has time for a game of chess, or to pitch the ball to Bryce? Perhaps it is because he lets Sara Kate sleep with him when she spends the night...and he calls her his Bed Buddy. Maybe it's because he uses a bobcat to pile up a huge pile of leaves every year for the kids to jump in. Or, maybe it's easy to see when I look around my house and see the tangible things he made for me or my kids....with his own hands, by his own design, and always just the way we wanted or requested. No, I bet it's because he always has time for my projects...whether it's sewing purses from a pattern he made himself, or he & Mom helping me make 16 gallons of prailine popcorn, or the fact that he is an honorary member of the girls-only cookie club.

Now that I think about it...maybe it's more his quiet, soft handed leadership. The way that he values his faith without wearing it as a billboard. It's probably the fact that he treats people honestly and fairly, and that he consistently does the right thing. You know, acting out his faith, morals, and values instead of talking about them or boasting about them....certainly a Samaratin not a Pharisee.

Who knows? Perhaps it goes back to the beginning. Back to the experiences I've only heard about in story form, from mom or other relatives (cause Lord knows, he wouldn't tell them himself). Back to the way he loved my mom through illnesses that were capable of taking her life. Back to all the things he 'rigged' up to make things easier on her. Back to the way he helped her to regain her strength in walking by allowing her to "walk on his feet." Yes, I'm certain my assurance at the very least grew from it's beginnings there; even though I was too little to see or understand them when they were happening. That certainly speaks to the power of love, doesn't it?

But, you & I both know that true assurance doesn't come from a one time experience. And, while those stories and remembrances certainly provided a great start; we know that Love is proven over time. It is a seed that is planted and grows. I think that's what amazes me most. Daddy is not an overly emotional or doting person. He certainly wasn't Mr. Romance to my mom; and my siblings and I weren't spoiled or anything. In truth, he actually worked an awful lot, and worked hard. A fact that I somehow think he regrets now. But, I wish he wouldn't. All of us 'got it'. We knew he was doing that for us...and because he loved us. Furthermore, he could also be a little hard on us at times, but it was always balanced with love. And, I personally am grateful for that, that he loved us enough to shape our character.

As I said earlier, the hard part is knowing where to stop and when to end. I could go on and on; providing at least a million more examples (just as I could do with examples of mom's love for us as well). Even now, I fully realize I'm leaving things out that left an indelible mark on my heart.... Like how he and mom were always available to talk to me when I needed it, like how he encouraged me to face my fears; and how he confessed that he too, had fears, like mine.

Yes, my assurance comes from all those things and a zillion more just as important!

But, I think I'll end with a simple thank you!

Thank you for loving Mom, and thank you for loving your kids. Thank you for loving your grandkids. Thank you for loving us so much that we've never had any room for doubt. It is a honor and true privilege to be your daughter! You are the truest, most honest definition of the word Father!

I Love you,