Today I got to drop everything, the stress, the worries, the busyness, and go out to breakfast with my dad. Lately we have unknowingly made this a regular thing that we do every once in a while. When we feel like it, we just head on over to our favorite breakfast spot on the South Hill and we always order the same breakfast. The Denver Omelet. But he gets fruit instead of toast, and swiss cheese instead of cheddar like me. This may sound sorta cheesy (excuse my pun), but I love it when people know what the other person is going to order before they order it, and they know exactly how they like it. That means they have taken time out of their day to spend sweet fellowship with that person and invest in their lives. This shouldn’t be such a rarity, yet sadly it is.
My dad knows that I drench my omelet and hash browns in Tabasco sauce (and makes a point of teasing me about how crazy I am every time) and I know that my dad will always order straight black coffee with a to-go cup for the road. We talk about life, we reminisce old memories, we talk about how our pasts have brought us to where we are today. He gives me advice, I give him advice. I tell him about my dreams and he tells me to chase them. We laugh and make the stupidest jokes. We encourage each other, pray for each other, and sometimes we sit in silence. We talk about theology. We talk about the disciples and all the other characters of the Bible who knew Jesus so well. We talk about how the small things in life are the important things. He helps me understand the pain in my life better, and I tell him its okay to admit that he gets completely worn out sometimes. On the way home, he always takes the scenic route without me asking him to. He tells me he picked this route so that I could scout out good places to go take photographs. He slows the car down when he sees me whip out my cell phone to catch a quick photo of something that caught my eye. He tells me how much he loves me and how proud he is of who I have become. I tell him that no matter where I go in life, or who I fall in love with, he will always be my #1 man.
My dad and I have always been able to understand each other on a different level than everyone else. Maybe its because we feel things the same way. Maybe its because we have always kinda had to be the strong ones. Maybe its because we have always loved each other, even when we have pushed the other away. I don’t know. I’m not gonna get too psycho analytic about it. After all, love is not a science. Its a way of life.
My dad is my friend, my hero, my stronghold, and so many other things. Ever since I was a little girl, I always looked up at my dad with glittery eyes, thinking to myself “The man I marry needs to be just like him”. Hate to break it to all you men out there, but you’ve got a pretty high standard to live up to.
He is patient, he is kind. He practices what he preaches. He has never let me give up on my dreams and he has shown me what it looks like to let God write your story. He has shown me how to live through heartbreak and come out the other side with dignity. He has shown me that suffering for Jesus is the greatest honor. He has taught me what it looks like to find joy in the midst of some of life’s greatest sadnesses. He has taught me to be a God fearing, self respecting woman who doesn’t settle for the first guy with charming wit.
I don’t think there are enough words in the english language to explain how much my dad means to me. How he makes me feel safe and cared for. How I know that everything will be okay as long as he is around. My dad has loved me tirelessly for nineteen years, in the midst of all my failings, and I only hope that I can someday show my future children the same love that he has shown me.
Thanks for giving me the best life that you could, daddy. I will love you forever.