Finding the right words to honor my dad seems impossible. How do you sum up the bond between a daughter and her daddy in just a few sentences? I can’t possibly do it justice but I am going to tell you about the first man I ever loved.
My dad was my super hero. My parents divorced when I was really little, when my mom got sick and not able to take care of me, my dad swooped in and saved me when I needed him the most. He raised me from the time I was 7 years old…many of those years it was just him and me. He was always there for me. I always felt safe in his presence.
My dad was a smart man…in fact the smartest man I’ve ever known. I could call him with any question and he always seemed to know the answer. If he didn’t know the answer, he would research it until he knew the answer. He instilled the importance of an education in me. In fact, when I was in high school, I witnessed him dedicate more than a year to complete a prestigious fellowship at Harvard. It wasn’t until much later that I realized how impressive of an accomplishment that was for him.
My dad was a godly man. He brought John and I to the Lord and because of him, both John and I were baptized as adults along with my little brother, Matt. He instilled in us the importance of that foundation for our marriage as well as our children. John and I are passing this on and teach our three boys the importance of this foundation in their lives.
My dad was a caring man. I don’t know if this is an appropriate story to tell but I’m going to tell it anyway. My dad didn’t always know exactly what to do but he had great intentions. For example, there was that awkward moment that every young girl goes through during puberty. We hadn’t talked about it and I didn’t really know what to do so I called my dad. He didn’t know what to do either so he tried to make it right by going to the pharmacy and buying one of every female hygiene product that they sold at the store and then proudly laying them out on my sink for me to figure out what to do with them. It was like a lifetime supply and it was his way of taking “care” of me in that situation.
My dad was a generous man. So many examples of this with my dad but one thing I remember the most is around Christmas. Every child loves Christmas. The anticipation of Santa coming to your home is a magical thing and it was important to be in bed so that he could come. There were countless Christmas Eves where I feared that Santa wouldn’t be coming to our home because my dad insisted on stopping to help people on the way home on Christmas night. He would literally look for stalled cars, in order to stop and help others. Meanwhile, I was scared we would miss Santa Claus but Dad always wanted to make sure that others got home safe to their families. Guess what? Santa always came.
My dad was a great coach. My dad was my softball coach and basketball coach until I started playing school sports. Over the last couple of days I have received countless messages of how he impacted the lives of my friends, on and off the field. My dad also coached my high school powder puff team. That’s where the junior girls play football against the senior girls. “Coach Bob” took it VERY seriously. We had tryouts, practices, 1st string, and 2nd string…it was serious business. By the way we WON and were the only class to win back to back junior/senior championships. He was legendary at our high school.
My dad loved women. Let’s just say that there have been a few women come in and out of my dad’s life over the years. Every one of them impacted my life and because of that I have amazing brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. Almost 25 years ago, he married Gwen, the love of his life. He settled in and I witnessed them build a great life together and I saw how much he loved her. She was “the one”.
My dad was a great provider. When I was young, I saw him wake up every morning, iron his shirt, put on a suit, shine his shoes and go out and conquer the world. He was still working the day he died. He instilled a work ethic in me that I am forever grateful for. Just last week, we were talking and he said “I wish you didn’t have to work so hard” and I said “I will stop when you stop!”…he laughed.
My dad was a huge Alabama fan. It was a ritual. When I was young, He would wear the same shirt, drink Coca-Cola out of the same Alabama mug and would tunnel in to watch games without any distractions. Whenever Bama would score you could hear the “Roll Tide” bellowing from the room. If they lost, which wasn’t very often, there were days of silence. He literally couldn’t even talk to anyone because he was so upset over a loss. He got better about the losses over the year but he passed away loving his Alabama Crimson Tide.
My dad was my biggest cheerleader. Ever since I was a little girl, we have had a bond like no other. He taught me how to play sports and went to every single game I ever played. If I was in then I was in to be the best that I could be and he pushed me and challenged me to give 100%. There were countless hours of coaching or playing catch or shooting hoops in the driveway and he encouraged me but ultimately just believed that I was the best.
In 2015, I won “Home & Garden’s Trendsetter of the Year” which allowed me to travel the country sharing my passion of upcycling and repurposing with audiences all over the United States. More importantly, it gave me the opportunity to give credit to my dad for raising me and to tell him thank you. This picture was taken last fall in Birmingham, Alabama. He and several members of my family were able to attend my presentation…it was very special.
My dad was a proud grandfather My dad loved and bragged about all of his grandchildren. He wanted everyone to know how special they were.
Here are some things he would say:
Dominique (not in photo) – What’s not to love about Dominique? First of all he thought she was beautiful. He loved her spunky spirit and he felt an immediate connection to her when he met her. He felt your love Dominique and I thank you for that.
Micah (not in photo)– He loved Micah’s tender heart. You can’t meet Micah and not feel his love. They always had a chat of some sort going on through with text or facebook messenger and he loved reading all of the messages.
Jordan – He felt like he could identify with Jordan as a young man in high school and college. He is very athletic, handsome and has that a little of that tough guy that we all know dad was known for.
Connor – He was so proud of your accomplishments. He bragged to everyone that you were not only a great athlete but also an amazing scholar. You had your granddaddy’s work ethic and he was so proud of your basketball scholarship.
Garrett – Like most people that get to know you, he loved your sense of humor. You have a stubborn side just like me and your granddaddy. He loved your passion for basketball and was excited to watch what you did with it.
Gavin – He felt a special bond with you…maybe because your middle name came from him or maybe because you look like your mom or maybe because you always made time for him when he came to visit. He loved how thoughtful you were and cherished the pen you made him in shop class.
Nathan – He loved Nathan’s analytical way of thinking. He was very impressed with his work ethic and his tenacious spirit and most recently his major accomplishments in Lacrosse.
Reagan (not in photo)– He loved her personality and always said she was the best baby. I only wish he had been in your life longer.
My dad was a proud father –
Cathy – I need you to know how much he loved you and he was so proud of you and your beautiful family. I think he spent the majority of his life longing for a relationship with you so the last 5 years have truly been the happiest years of his life. Thank you for opening your heart to us…we all love you so much.
Matt – He was so proud of you Matt. You were his buddy and his pride and joy. He was so proud of your accomplishments both at work and home and He loved the life you created with Brandi and Reagan. Please never doubt for one second his unconditional love for you.
Brandi…he always complimented you and thought you were an amazing wife and mother.
As you can tell, my dad was a man of many great things: he was smart, generous, caring, godly, a great, husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend, coach and boss.
He was extremely passionate about 3 things: God, Family and Country and that makes me so proud to be his daughter.
My dad was born on October 23, 1940 and passed away in his sleep on June 27, 2017. My world has been turned completely upside down and I need time to grieve so I am going to take some time away from the blog to heal. I simply can’t give you the best of me when I feel so broken inside.
Thank you for understanding.