To the first man I ever loved
Daddy…I writing to you because I know that of all the people who matter in our lives, you receive the least amount of credit and praise for the things you do.
When I got married my dad wasn’t too keen to give me away just yet…..”Are you sure you want to do this now” he asked,…..I was 24, I was sure……
The moment he accepted that I was indeed sure, he also accepted my husband as a son, and still today he loves him as his own. Over the years I have loved watching you two crack jokes, argue about politics and business opportunities, bonding and becoming friends.
You have taught me unconditional love.
My childhood is filled with memories of my dad banging against my bedroom door early in the morning singing “wake up little Suzie wake up”. Some of my favorite songs today are songs he played over and over again through the years. When I hear certain songs that remind me of my dad, I still drift back to those moments….I still hear him say..”ok it’s coming now, listen to the words”. Dad didn’t know it then, but his love for music became my love for music, and today music has a massive influence in my life . There were many, but my love for music was maybe the biggest gift you unknowingly gave me while growing up. It can be a song like The Proclaimers “I would walk 500 miles” that instantly brings a smile to my face and makes me start dancing with that first guitar riff. It could be the most true words of, Kenny Rodgers“The Gambler” or “Lucille” or there’s the oddly calming effect that “Amazing grace” will forever have on me. Each individual song brings a completely different emotion, memory and sentiment.
I remember everything dad! I remember weekend movie marathons of nightmare on Elm street and IT. Ok so maybe not the best movies to show your kids, but regardless, no harm done, and the gesture of family time I carry close to my heart up until this day. There were hours I spent with you in your workshop or garage, helping you “sort out” the tools and watching you make stuff. No matter how I search my memories, I cannot find pictures of dad ever being angry or sad or anything but utterly happy. I know there were times, but they were very far and few in-between. My dad has always and still always just seem so happy. He use to “zip” his mouth open exploding with this ridiculous laughter, that would make us laugh no matter how angry we were. He use to dance, all the time, this silly singing dance walk he use to do around the house…..and sometimes in public too.
My dad has taught me to be humble, no matter what, always be humble. Daddy taught me that money doesn’t matter, people matter, and love matter.
He effortlessly walked a line that fathers of daughters have to tread, my dad was a friend to me, but always a parent first. The indulger but also the disciplinarian. The praiser but also a very strict critic. The fun one who is also able to kiss better scraped knees and bumped heads. The guy who wouldn’t let me get my ears pierced, shave my legs or wear make up, and who told my teenage self that the boys I fancy simply isn’t good enough for me, well actually he just told me that I am not allowed to see them again….ever, and without fail he was ALWAYS right.
I look back on my childhood and I see that my dad, alongside my amazing mother, did so much more than parent me through the wilderness years. He gave (and continues to give) me the greatest gift – a blue print for what being loved – really ferociously loved – looks like. A blue print for what being a husband and a dad looks like. A blue print for what I want from the man in my life……ohh my dad is not faultless, but he is the picture of pure and genuine and unconditional love…….and through the years I let those images engrave themselves on my young and transforming heart as I grew into a young women.
Daddy was my first love!
Daddy use to call me Shiela…I was a bit of a wild one (as was he). When I was 16 I told him I was going to buy myself a motorcycle from saved money. He said over his dead body. So one day I arrived home with a motorcycle I had no clue how to ride. Daddy watched me through the window trying to “teach myself” in the back yard. Without saying a word he walked out, climbed onto the motorcycle and started to teach me how it’s done. For the next few weeks he would patiently show me over and over again, and for the next few months he would always come pick me up when I called him….Daddy I fell, and I cannot pick up the motorcycle on my own.
Daddy you have told me years ago that it was a pain and a pleasure raising me.
Growing up our house was always sort of an “open house” for any of our friends. We use to hang out at the house, eat lunch, have sleepovers, oh and cut school at the house. Friends use to pitch up there even if we weren’t at home, but daddy made every kid always feel at home there.
Then I became a mother myself, and again dad surprised me with his passion and devotion to love unconditionally my own children all over again.
You showed me that love is being strong and humble, while also loving one’s self enough to reach for the stars. Love is respect and support on all of life’s endeavors. So many times you and mom packed up that white Hi-Ace truck and brought us to every new adventure our hearts needed to go on.
Daddy you may not know it, but without trying you were the perfect daddy.
So Dad – the pleasure has been all mine.