A Father’s Day Tribute

The greatest gift I ever had came from God; I call him Dad!

“My Dad passed away nearly 11 years ago and it’s quite hard to fathom he hasn’t been on this earth that long. But in the 34 years I did have him, he taught me a lot, some things out loud and other things more quietly, by example.
He taught me about commitment in the way he loved his siblings and parents and eventually my mom. He was a dedicated and faithful husband and father and worked hard to provide for us. He was devoted to his job, his family, and his church. He taught me about financial responsibility. Although we weren’t wealthy, we had what we needed, but my parents taught us how to earn what we WANTED. If an item was over and above what they saw fit to pay, we’d have to earn the money ourselves. Expensive jeans or shoes, makeup, cassettes, magazines were all “on our own” and I learned early on the value of a dollar and adopted a great work ethic. My parents didn’t have debt aside from a house and cars, and didn’t have credit cards. They believed in saving for what you want and not in instant gratification. And they tithed: every week I saw my dad write out the check, place it in the envelope, and set it on a shelf for Sunday.
 My dad loved to travel. He had wanderlust. Maybe being in the Navy helped with that. He’d tell me of stories of his travels while enlisted so when went to Italy this year, it was a little extra special knowing he too had been there. He’d told of the gondolas and of being “jumped” in the alley outside a bar where “thugs” broke his nose.

My dad was goofy and it’s one of my favorite things about him. He had manufactured silly laughs and funny cackles. He’d break out into a little “boogie” as he’d call it.  He always knew how to make us laugh. He liked to use made-up language and mix words on purpose. Instead of saying “I’m going to take a shower”, he’d say “I’m going to shake a tower.” Just for fun. He was always whistling (something I inherited from him) and everyone loved him. He was a really good friend, gave people too many second chances, and was friendly with everyone.

My dad was the strongest person in the world in my eyes. He carried the responsibility of a job, a family, an aging mother, church duties, coached my baseball teams, fixed things, and made us all feel safe. He stood up for what was right, loved the Lord, made responsible choices, and raised a strong family. When my mom passed away, his heart was shattered. But I remember standing at her casket looking at Mom for the last time; I was broken, blood-red eyes from crying, fatigued and bereft. Dad put his arm around me and said “It’ll be okay, kid.” And I believed him. When he faced his own passing years later, though I knew he was suffering, he never complained. In fact, I don’t remember ever hearing him complain at any point in his life. He entertained everyone else in his final days. In true form, his spirit gently passed without fanfare, just the way he lived. He went surely and boldly to Heaven and to the long-awaited reunion with his wife, my mom. He left a legacy of love and laughter. I treasure my upbringing and the simplicity of it all. A man and woman fell in love, married and raised a family. He was, as they say, a good man. “

dadmeMelanie P. & Her Dad

“Dad, growing up we had a somewhat rocky relationship. But that’s just it, it’s in the past and we are living in the here and now. I remember going to the park in Kingsville, making our way down to the beach for even more adventures. We eventually made our way to the ice cream shop and I ordered the same ice cream every time: plain soft ice cream with peanuts. You were there for me during my struggles, and I was in the hospital, you were by my bedside making sure the doctors and nurses were doing everything to make sure I was getting proper help. I know you would do anything for me and I am forever grateful. I love you, Papa Bear (a nickname I gave you that you don’t know about.) Love, Alex.”

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. ~ Jim Valvano

“My dad is a hard working family doctor who’s deeply devoted to his patients and making their lives better. I’ve learned so much about kindness and patience from watching him interact with others, and I wouldn’t trade his goodness or ability to help others for anything. The care and concern he shows for complete strangers is something I’ve tried to emulate my entire life.

Service and gratitude are two major themes from my childhood that I’ve carried into adulthood, and I’ve learned so much about being a good person from my dad. Though he’s incredibly busy man, he always makes time for his children, and for that, I am eternally grateful. Love, Melanie”

dad-fathers-dayMelanie M.’s Dad

“Dad, I am so grateful for all the things that you have done for me over the years.

I always remember when I was younger that my dad was always willing to do anything for both myself and for my brother, whether it was if we wanted to go down to the beach to swim or surf when we were away to if we wanted that new Barbie or skateboard to being taken out to our friends place or borrowing the car.

Although I might not tell you all the time how much I really appreciated what you’ve done for me, and I know that you would do anything for me I am so very grateful and appreciate what you do for me and continue to do for me. Love, Amanda”

a dadAmanda’s Dad

“If I could describe my father in 3 words they would be integrity, loyalty and kindness. That’s only a few. There are so many values he holds that I admire and look up to, but these ones stand out to me the most. He has always held our family together. Whether it has been providing for our family with all the hard work he does in the run of a day or if we need someone to talk to, he’s there. My dad has a kind heart. I admire that the most. He is always willing to serve others and truly displays God’s love for people throughout his day to day life. I’ll never forget the day he first called me his princess and ever since then he has treated me like one. I will always be your princess! Love you Daddy!”

dad slauenKrystyn and Dad

“Dad and I have been friends ever since I remember. He has always had that aura of calm acceptance around him. I have learnt a lot from him- from just the way he is. I have never seen someone more compassionate and detached at the same time. One day I hope to be like that. As of today, I just want to wish him a long healthy life, lots of love, and just so much of gratitude. I am glad to have known him all my life. Love you loads Baba! Love, Mekhala”

He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~ Clarence Budington Kelland

“My dad is so many things. He is a father, a farmer, a firefighter, a husband… He’s soft spoken yet passionate. He is caring, loving, protective… He has such a big heart and he stands up for what he believes in, no matter what other people think. My dad is my inspiration… the person I want to be more like. This past year has been a very difficult one. There have been many trials and struggles, but my dad stood strong through them all. No matter what happens, I know my daddy loves me and nothing I do will ever change that. Thank you Dad for being such an amazing person, and for your unconditional love. I love you. Love, Nichole.

nichole dadNichole and Dad, 2011

Want to share your own tribute to your Father? Let’s fill the comments up with Father’s day well wishes and memories! We are looking forward to reading your comments below!

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