Tonight is a perfect example of why I am thankful for this person on day 2 of my Thankful November. Tonight Paige had her last soccer game. My mom has came to all of the games along with Blake’s mom but my dad hasn’t been able to come because he works evenings. I know it has about killed him to miss Paige’s games. He is the best grandpa ever, but he is a responsible man…Tonight on her last game of the season, my dad made sure to be there. He raced down here (30 miles) and raced back to get back to work. He will work extra tonight (until 1:00 am) but I know he would have it no other way because he would do anything for us.
You probably didn’t know this but I have the best dad in the whole world. When I was a kid he worked long hours to provide for us but never missed an important event in our lives. He might have been asleep in his recliner most evenings but at least I could nudge him if or throw things at him if there was something I wanted him to know or see. He provided the best childhood a kid could dream of.
My dad is one of the best role models I know. He is a strong Christian man who taught us that we would make God and church a priority in our lives. He taught my brother and I by example. He is always there to lend a hand to a friend in need or a daughter who just needs her dad to fix something. I remember once when I was a new teacher and had just moved to a house in Clinton. I, somehow started a small kitchen fire and who was the first person I called? Not the fire department. I called my dad. He thought I was a little crazy to call him in the middle of a small fire but I knew he could help me. (In case you are wondering, I just blew out the fire and everything was fine, I’m a much better cook now)
One day during my senior year of high school, my dad took me on a college day visit. I learned more about my dad that day during our drive than any other time in my life. I understand him more deeply and appreciate everything he has done for me.
One of the best surprises I ever got was on the airplane on the way to my honeymoon. We were exhausted. Blake pulled a gift out of his bag and gave it to me. It was a book I had given my dad years ago when I was in college where I asked him to write down his memories of my childhood. Never in a million years did I ever think my dad would fill that book out, but he did. I spent the entire flight in tears (happy tears) realizing that a lot of my favorite memories of my dad were also his favorite memories of me. I came across that book this weekend while cleaning. It is one of my most treasured possessions.
My favorite memory of my dad took place almost every Saturday night up until I moved away from home. I would accompany my dad to the grocery store to “pull up” the bread. You see, my dad was a bread man. He delivered the bread to the stores and restaurants. On Saturday nights, he would go back to the local grocery store and restock the bread and make it look nice. I don’t remember when, but somewhere along the road, I started going with him. I think it started when I realized there were some cute boys who worked at the grocery store but Dad and I always had a good time. I can straighten a bread shelf pretty good.
Another memory from my “bread man” childhood, was that every day after school my mom, brother and I would go to bread barn (while it was still in our town) and see Dad. He would always let me choose whatever snack I wanted off of his truck. I usually chose between a cherry or apple pie or a chocolate cake. I would also get the treat of drinking what was left in Dad’s pop can from the day. I later learned that really this was just hot pop which is really kind of gross but I thought I was getting a big treat by getting to have his pop.
I can only remember one time when my dad failed me. You see when I was growing up, my uncle and my dad worked for competing bread companies. My dad told me, and I believed him wholeheartedly, that if I touched my uncle’s brand of bread, I would get warts. I took this very seriously. I would not touch the competitor’s bread with my hand while we were pulling up the bread. I might slide it over with my elbow but that’s about it. And when I went to spend the night at my uncle’s house? Well, of course, I brought my own loaf of bread with me. So imagine the disappointment I felt when my dad went to work for that same company when I was 16. It was a tough time in our household. I was refusing to eat the “wart” bread and that’s all he was bringing home. I learned to live with it.
I could go on and on all day about how great my dad is and most of you would probably agree. I won’t bore with you stories about how he used to sing the song “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” right before I would go out cruising or how I have a picture of my (very shy) prom date, myself and my dad with a gun. (According to Dad, it happened to be gun cleaning day on the day of prom). I won’t tell you about how he taught us to pray before our meals. He has been a great example to show me how to live a Christian life. And even though I can’t think of anything that would make him a better dad, he is an even better grandpa!
I love you Dad! Thanks for all the sacrifices you have made for us and thanks for always being a man of character that I can count on.