Daddy with Anita and me on Anita's birthday - early 70's. Can you tell by the decor? I am on the right. :-)
I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection.
~ Sigmund Freud
I learned what true love looks like by observing my sweet parents. My dad was by my mother's side for almost 44 years of marriage. He stood by her through thick and thin - good and bad - sickness and health until they were parted by death. My dad never left the house without kissing my mother goodbye - even for a quick trip to the store. Devoted would be a true description of my father - devoted to my mother and to his girls.
My mother and father - around the time they were married. What a wonderful couple!
My dad has always been supportive and encouraging. He knew when to cheer us on (band activities, piano recitals, etc.) and he knew when to cheer us up - through heartaches and disappointments in the teen years and other trials that have come as we moved through life. He and mom encouraged us to pursue our dreams with regard to our careers. I was a teacher when I graduated from college. I obtained a master's degree after I had been teaching a few years. Daddy was the first to suggest that I go back to school and pursue a doctorate. I achieved that goal in 1999 with both of my parent's cheering me on! I remember thinking how great it was that Daddy wanted so much for his girls. He may not have had the opportunity to go to college, but he wanted his daughters to further their education as much a possible.
I learned from my dad that things may not always go as you planned, but you must "keep on keeping on". He and my mother faced some challenges through the years, but their love for each other never wavered. My mother's death shook my dad to his core. He definitely struggled after her death; however, he has become his old self in the last couple of years. He has found his way back to the daddy I have always known and loved with all my heart.
I love this picture of my daddy. It was taken when he was around 18 months old. He is wearing his daddy's cowboy hat and holding his grandfather's pipe.
Good fathers always seem to know when to help out and when to let their children figure out things the hard way. That is true of my daddy. I think that is a tough thing for parents because we always want to fix things for our children. Daddy was always ready to step in and help when needed - and he still does - but he also knows when his children must learn a lesson. I admire him so much for that quality.
I always knew that my daddy was there to protect our family. That is still true today. Even though my sister and I are grown, we still believe that Daddy will always be there, waiting in the wings to help us when we falter. I believe he is my safety net. Like my heavenly father, I know that my daddy will love me regardless.
As a father and a grandfather, my dad knows it is okay to spoil your children just a little bit. We did not have an extravagant childhood, but we had what we needed with special treats thrown in :-). We did not get brand new cars as soon as we were able to drive. We did get older cars that were perfect for us! He and mom wanted us to appreciate the things that we were given. I will tell you though that when my parents became grandparents, all of these ideas about moderation went out the window - They quickly realized it was okay to SPOIL the grandbabies!!! In fact, my sister used to say that Santa Claus couldn't compete with Granny and Papa. My daddy, aka "Papa", still spoils Paige, Spencer and Seth. He just treated Seth to a week of baseball camp at South Alabama and purchased him a new set of catcher's gear - perfect for our budding baseball star.
My daddy will tell you that my mother played the biggest part in raising Anita and me. In fact, I have heard him tell a story of someone saying that he had two wonderful daughters. My daddy's reply was "I can't take credit for them, Janell (my mom) raised them." That could not be farther from the truth. While it was true that my daddy traveled a lot with his job, and my mother did most of the day to day duties that come with raising children, my dad was a crucial part of our upbringing. He and mom were united in their desire to raise us in a Christian home where we were taught the values they embraced. My father modeled his belief that family comes first, hard work is a good thing, it is important to be generous, to help others, and to treat all people with respect.
This was taken about four years ago... Spencer, Me, Nini, Seth, Paige and Papa
To sum it up, amazing fathers just seemed to instinctively know when to praise and when to punish, when to save and when to splurge, when to cheer their children on as they follow their dreams and when to encourage them to show restraint. I am so blessed to have an amazing man as my sweet father. I am so honored to call him Daddy!
I love my father as the stars - he's a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart.
My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
This week I am joining: