Ever since my father-in-law had his heart attack, I can’t get my own dad off of my mind. Let me just say right up front, I totally adore my Dad. I am 33 and still unapologetically call him Daddy for the most part. He is my hero.
Dad has survived 3 heart attacks. Each time that phone rings at odd times here, my heart pauses it’s beating until I know that everyone is okay. Let’s just say, I don’t handle the “something’s happened” phone calls very well. I know I am getting older. I know that they tell me parents are mere mortals, but I have yet to believe them. I cannot see my Dad as anything but the larger than life man he is in my eyes.
Growing up, Dad coached all of my many sporting teams. When I was on the volleyball team and basketball team at school and he wasn’t the coach, there was never a game that he wasn’t right there in the stands cheering me on. When I was younger, we lived just 2 blocks away from the ballpark. Everyone was at the ballpark when there were games being played. Even if you didn’t have kids, you went. (It wasn’t like it is now where I have to check a schedule to see where the game is being played. ALL games were at this huge park.)
I remember on summer nights the neighbors would laugh (and later tease Dad) about the fact that they knew when one of us had a game because you could hear his voice. He has that coaches voice that carries. He supported any sport I wanted to play…even before it was okay for girls to play some of them. Never was there a game or event when I couldn’t look over and see him either in the coaches box or on the sidelines cheering for me. (And trust me, even though I was the coaches kid, I surely did not get away with anything. I got my butt chewed out just as much as the next kid. Probably more. But I probably deserved it more.)
Daddy taught me how to ride my first bike.
He taught me how to drive.
He taught me how to succeed with humility and fail with dignity.
The day I got married, he woke me up and gave me a rose. He said a lot of things that are just too special and private to share here. But, they are words I will never forget. We laughed when he walked me down the aisle.
He stood by my hospital bed the night I had my firstborn son, who was stillborn. And he cried with me. He also stood by my hospital bed 3 more times and cried with me as he held my healthy newborn babies in his arms.
When I just don’t know what to do or where to turn, I can always pick up the phone and call my Daddy. He is a rock. He is a very giving and loving man. Everybody loves my Dad. My friends have always adored my dad. He is now the adopted grandpa at his church. Like I said, everybody loves Dad.
My sister and I used to laugh at what a tough job our husbands would have trying to come into our lives and step into the “man in our life” shoes after having a man like my dad filling them all of our lives. (For the record, I could never have found a more perfect man to become the man in my life. Oh sure, there are times I am sure he would like to look at my dad and just say “Thanks a lot for setting the bar so high!” But since we have a daughter now, I am sure Geek Man will be setting that bar pretty damn high himself for her future man, too.)
After this scare with my husband’s dad, I just can’t stop thinking of my own Dad. I have had bad dreams about losing him and wake up in a cold sweat. I know it is just fear from the “almost” that we just went through with my father-in-law. I am not one to really like facing the reality of mortality. I like my “everyone is okay, all of the time and forever will be” world that isn’t real, thankyouverymuch. So I guess I just wanted to remind myself, and to tell you all, just how awesome my Dad is. Because, he is.
He is my hero.