Sunday, June 15, 2008
(I wrote this about my Dad in November of 2006. I don't remember why I wrote it, but it was on my computer and I thought it was fitting seeing as today is Father's Day.)
My Dad is the most amazing man I know. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is incredible, but I guess I still see my Dad through those little girl eyes. He takes his responsibility of being a Father very seriously. Now that’s not to say that he is a serious person, but we (his daughters) are his priority. My parents had three daughters and no sons, which I think might have been a little disappointing to my Dad, but he never let on. The reason I say this is because he’s a man’s man, he likes fixing cars, riding motorcycles and watching sports on TV. Growing up I was a very compassionate person. I was very aware that my Dad did a lot of things on his own, like working on the car in the garage or being in his room on Sunday afternoons so he could watch football or NASCAR so the rest of us could watch something else on TV. Beginning very early on I remember going in on those Sunday afternoons and lying down on my Dad’s bed beside him to watch football and NASCAR just so he wouldn’t be alone. I’m not a huge fan of car racing, but sometimes when I’m flipping through channels and there is a race on TV I will stop and watch it just because it reminds me of my Dad.
I would also spend many a Saturday out in the garage as my Dad fixed our cars. He didn’t believe in paying someone to do something that he could do himself. He bought his first car when he was 14. He had to borrow money from his dad to buy the car so he could get to work at his first job, but the first thing he did was pay his dad back. Considering that he was only 14 years old, the car he bought was pretty old, so it needed a lot of work, which was how my Dad learned as much as he did about cars. His family didn’t have much money at all, so all growing up he had old cars that needed a lot of work. He just learned by doing. I think he liked having me in the garage as he was working. He’d have me hand him tools, which is how I learned what the names of a lot of different tools are, and he would describe to me what he was doing. Now that I’m all grown up I wish I would have paid more attention to what he was telling me. I mean I know what a carburetor is and what the pistons are and about an intake manifold, but I couldn’t even begin to tell you what to do if something goes wrong. What a wonderful skill that would be to have, and it was mine for the taking if I would have just paid more attention to my Dad.
My Dad rode the bus to work an hour each way out to the site (the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory) pretty much every day of my life growing up. The neat thing about this was that unless there was an emergency or a huge snowstorm, I knew almost to the minute when my Dad would be home. For years I made it a priority to go and meet him at the bus stop, which was about a block away, so he wouldn’t have to walk home by himself. I don’t know if he cared if he walked that block and a half by himself, but it sure gave me memories to last a lifetime.
Even as an adult I know that there isn’t anything that my Dad wouldn’t do for me. There was a time in college when my car broke down. Ironically, or should I say unfortunately, it was parked in the middle of the street because my sorority sisters and I were painting the street for Greek Week. We could only do it in the middle of the night, so I had my headlights shining on the road. Well, when I went to move it, it wouldn’t start. I had some friends help me push it to the side of the road, but it was still in a tow-zone. I called my dad for his advice since I didn’t have enough money to have it towed or fixed, so he drove two and a half hours to help me get it started and fixed! (It wasn't the battery either, I checked for that) I could go on and on about the things my Dad has done for me, and he’s never asked for anything in return. I am in awe of him, and I know that there is never any way that I’ll be able to repay him, or even fully express my love and gratitude.
My Dad went to college, but he never graduated, but this never stopped him from learning. He’s one of the smartest people I know. He researches everything! He reads books and magazines and now the internet to decide which products are the best value for the money. He reads a newspaper everyday and is always up on current events.
Now my Dad had his faults, like the rest of us, but from the view through my little girl eyes, my Dad is my hero and my friend.