Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My Dad

I am kind of a needy person. Ask the people I am closest with and you will hear that I text incessantly, call a lot and have lots of opinions. I hope that they would also say that I listen well, treat them with respect and love them unconditionally. I think I do, and I had to have learned that from someone. Right?

Yep, my dad...

Growing up, my dad was always around. He is the guy who always told me the truth, even when it hurt. Case in point... When I was young, maybe five or six, I walked down to the basement of the house, where my dad was slaving away making me my Christmas present. I had heard rumors that Santa Clause didn't exist but I didn't want to believe it. Being the youngest child has its disadvantages. Anyway, he was building a doll house for me... I asked him if Santa Clause was real, to which he replied with a very careful no. I cried...

Fast forward twenty some odd years, I called my dad just to chit chat, and the call swiftly turned into finances, he is an accountant you see AND a very smart one. People go to him for advice because he is careful with his words and honest with his intentions. We started to talk about health coverage, cafeteria plans, health savings accounts, saving for the future, and on and on and on... The conversation had a spin that would be hard to explain right now, but the fact is that we talked about some hard stuff. At this point in my life my dad strives to be supportive of my decisions without telling me what to do, I just wanted him to tell me I was making the right decisions. I asked him pointedly and he told me the honest truth. This time it didn't hurt because I felt as though I was mostly right and he validated that.

Anyway, back to Santa Clause... Later in life I asked my dad why he told me the truth about Santa Clause (obviously I still remember it) and he told me it was because he wanted me to always trust him. He could have fed into the fantasy that seemingly EVERY parent wants to protect for their child, but instead considered his long term relationship with me when he broke my heart at the time.

The way my dad loves me and treats me is a testament to the kind of man he is and the kind of people I choose to engage with on this journey called life. He taught me about character and how to love unconditionally (I should tell you about some of my screw ups in life to illustrate this point, but this post can only go on so long), he taught me that everyone has a purpose and that everyone deserves kindness, even if they don't show you the same. He taught me that relationships are about more than no liking someone because they have a different opinion that yourself.

I am blessed every time he answers the phone, or sits on the couch talking to me, or sits across the dinner table for hours telling me the same story he told me 100 times already; and you know what? I still sit and listen to all those stories, even on the 100th version, because I know my dad has a purpose for sharing (even if is only for a laugh).

Anyway, similar to the post I wrote for my mom on Mother's Day, I will say this, I have the best dad in the world, the best parents really... My dad truly is the best for me because he knows how to be gentle with my heart yet very honest even when it is hard to hear.

So, thank you dad for teaching me how to live with integrity and an abundance of love. It is because of you (and mom) that I know how to be kind (most of the time) and pick people to share my life with who are almost as wonderful as you...