Sunday, October 12, 2008
Happy 70th Birthday, Da-O!
My Daddy has always been my hero. Unlike a lot of fathers, he was very involved in my life. When I decided I wanted to join 4-H, he became the project leader, eventually the club leader, and then the fair barn superintendent. Any project I wanted to take on, he was beside me and we did it together. I learned a lot alongside my dad, from building rabbit cages to changing the oil in a car, from shooting rifles and pistols to baking fabulous bread the old fashioned way (no bread machines, you gotta knead it yourself!) He taught me how to read a map by giving me the address of where we were going and a Thomas Guide and left it up to me to tell him where to go. He let me do just about anything I wanted, without judgement, like when he would butcher chickens and I would use the heads as finger puppets (I know, it's really gross, but I was only four!) My Dad is the one who found a dead bat and put it in a jar to bring home to me, I still have that bat in my laundry room. It sounds gross, but the bat is still in perfect condition over 20 years later and it is really cool.
We have had a lot of inside jokes over the years, from "Feed Big B Antiques" to "Bunk Foss Road, Old Bunk Foss Road, no New Bunk Foss Road!" (Say that five times fast!) There's the espresso stand in Lynwood that still to this day, whenever I drive past it, I remember when Dad and I ran out of gas there and went across the street to a convenience store and bought Chinese barbecued pork for dinner, because that was the only thing that looked remotely edible. I remember the night when my mom and brother were out doing something and he let me have eight cookies after dinner. I must have only been six or seven, but that night stands out in my mind for some reason.
As I grew, and did not make the wisest choices, I still knew that no matter what, he was there for me and loved me, even if he did not agree with what I was doing. He has always been there to catch me when I fell, but I think the most important thing is that he let me fall first, learning the lessons of life and growing stronger with the experience, but always being there to pick me up. Thank you, Dad, for that. I know I am a much stronger and confident person today because of how you handled me during those years.
He has always supported my hubby and kids, when Marty asked him for my hand in marriage, my dad told him that he thought that Marty was the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I think he was right. He and my Mom have been married for 40 years, giving us a great example of making a marriage last, no matter how tough things can get in life. When we told him of our first pregnancy, I swear I caught the traces of a tear in his eye. He has been a very devoted grandfather, an the kids love wrestling on the floor with him, or playing in the backyard. When the twins were in the hospital over Christmas, he cooked an entire Christmas dinner, packed it in a cooler, and drove the 100 miles to our house so we could enjoy Christmas dinner without having to go too far from the hospital.
Dad, for all these reasons and many, many more, I love you more than you know. Happy birthday, Da-O, you are a wonderful father and grandfather, and I look forward to sharing many more years with you!
I love you, Be-Bo