No one has a bigger piece of my heart than my sweet Daddy; and if you know him, you know exactly why.
There is a running joke in my family about my parents just after they started dating: My mother would come home after a date and go on and on about how wonderful my dad was; every time, “But mom he’s just so wonderful.” Finally, after the millionth time, my grandmother looked at her and said, “Tori, no one can be THAT wonderful.”
As it turns out… he was. :)
I believe there are people in this world who have something extra-special about them; some intangible that makes them different; something that makes them wonderful. I have only met a handful of these wonderful people in my lifetime and my mama was right, my dad is definitely one of them.
He’s the kind of person who lights up a room whenever he walks in because Jesus shines through him all the time. It’s the core of who he is.
He is the hardest worker. He served nearly 30 years as an OKC Firefighter and was never late to a shift. Never. He is the definition of integrity and honor, and you can live and die by his word– a rare and precious gem in a world full of broken promises.
He is a pillar of strength. My sweet family has been through some valleys these last few years and though we have a few bumps and bruises, I credit my father with doing everything in his power to hold us up and and hold us together. Even when his own heart is exhausted and ripping at the seams, he is a wellspring of encouragement for our brokenness.
He is unending joy. If its true that optimists live longer, my dad will live forever. I think he lives life as it’s meant to be lived; a celebration. He sees every day as an opportunity to smile and laugh and love and to share that with everyone around him. A sense of humor is necessary in my family, and if anyone is laughing, my Daddy is usually in the middle of it.
He is a story teller. I consider this to be one of his greatest gifts. Story telling is dying art form that will sadly, stay dead with me. I can’t tell a story or a joke to save my life. My father, on the other hand, is one of the very best. When it comes to telling tales, whether it be bedtime stories or real life events, no one does it like him. I think I requested “Large Mouth Frog” (a childhood favorite) at bedtime nearly every single night. He would let me choose the animals in the story and he would act them out — the best. At friend/family get togethers, he regales us with stories from the fire department, his childhood, etc; most of which have us all in stitches by the end, exactly how he intended.
He is present. There was never a time when Daddy wasn’t working two jobs. He worked at the fire department full time, and on his days off he worked part time. Even so, bless his heart, he came to every track meet, football game, cheer competition, choir concert, school play, sorority event, etc. Looking back, I’m not sure how he did it, but he was always there, and that meant more then he’ll ever know. Now, he is a listening ear, a sounding board, a dinner date– still always there.
He is love. He is able to love fully and recklessly because he is in constant communion with the One who first loved us. He loves our family like a summer storm; steady, gentle and soaking. He truly cherishes my mom and adores all three of us kids. He is a fixer by nature and has a heart for broken people. He sees beyond the scars and loves people the way that they are, right where they are, just as Christ does; no expectation, no price tag. He loves because it was what he was created to do.
As I grow older and more aware of the world I live in, “thankful” doesn’t cover how I feel about my dad. All the good things about me are because of his hand in my life.
I love you, Daddy! Today, I hope you feel as wonderful as Mama thought you were back then. ;)