My last post on super heroes and this time of year make me think about my first hero—my dad. As a child he was larger than life to me, at 6’4” and over two hundred pounds, he really was larger than life. And I was always daddy’s little girl. I sat in his lap until I was fourteen. I could get nearly anything I wanted with a flash of my dimples. My father loved books and we (my brothers and sisters) would often pile in my parents’ queen sized (too small) bed while he would read to us C.S. Lewis or Tolkien.
In the pool he was the shark, we were the fish, and he would really bite us. In the house, he was the tiger we were the prey, and, yes, he would really bite us … but we always wanted to play.
When I was a teenager he was the protective grizzly bear, scaring nearly every boy I brought home. I’m sure he laughed about it when they left. It drove me crazy, but I always knew he cared.
When I became a mother he was the teddy bear, big and cuddly. When my kids were little they couldn’t wait to see him. They wanted to play shark in the pool and tiger in the house. For some reason they never got bit though. He’d gone soft. He was still protective though. One time I was going to take my two girls by myself and travel to visit my husband’s family in Utah, my father said, “No.” I told him, “I wasn’t really asking for your permission, dad.” He looked at me, then at my husband and said, “You aren’t going to let her go, are you?” My husband said, “She’s a big girl, dad, I have no control over what she does.” My dad laughed. I went. Even though I was all grown up I was still his little girl.
Two years ago my father passed away very unexpectedly at the age of 55. I miss him terribly. I will forever be grateful for the 29 years that I was blessed to know him in this life. I can’t wait to see him again. This time of year especially, I think about how grateful I am that I had such a loving father. He is my hero.
So make sure you take the time (the holiday season is always a good excuse) to tell your family that you love them. You can never say it too much.