Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My True Hero

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.


  1. Man, you're making me cry. I know it's not the same, but I lost my grandma at 8. She was just 52...or was it 54? Either way, too young.

    I still miss her a lot, and I can't wait to see her, too.

  2. I cried too, but that's all right, it's good. I also lost my father unexpectedly two years ago. The father-daughter relationship is crucial, let's both be thankful we had good ones.

  3. waaaaaaaah! Your dad was awesome. Well, I'm sure he's still awesome, but you know what I mean....

    Three cheers for awesome dads!

  4. I'm already weepy and emotionally unstable this week and that just did me in. Your dad was a wonderful person. This is such a nice tribute to him.

  5. I know guys, every once in a while I can be serious. It's shocking. Don't worry, I don't make people cry too often. I'll be back to sarcastic, silly, weird self tomorrow ... no probably not until the day after Thanksgiving, holidays are always hard.

  6. Thanks for the tears...don't you know that you shouldn't make a pregnant woman cry? Now I have to go to the grocery store all crazy. Yeah, thanks a lot.

    My dad and I are pretty close (he's my hero too) but I will be very thankful for him (maybe my mom too-if she behaves) tomorrow. Thanks for the reminder.

  7. Your Dad touched many people. I am grateful we sat at the same table, and talked with him and your Mom at "Hot August Nights" a few weeks before he died. After we left, Todd and I talked about how nice it was to see a couple who had been married for a long time, with grown children, who loved each other so much and still enjoyed being with eachother.

    Tanner still talks about when the grass caught on fire when your Dad was BBQing for Hannah's B-day.

    You have a great family.

  8. Woo hoo, I finally got some lurkers to comment. It only took a sad story. :)

    Audrey, I'm sorry, I know how easily pregnant women cry, I really should've started that post with a warning that read: If you are pregnant, have had any deaths in your family recently, or love your dad, do not read on. :)

    Erynn, you aren't allowed to make me cry. And that BBQ story, I laugh about it all the time. I have the greatest pic of my dad and Hannah at her birthday. I'm so glad I'm a picture freak.

  9. Oh you made me want to weep after reading this! How blessed you were for a wonderful father! You made me think about my daughter's relationship with my husband and how they played together just like you too did. My husband is almost the age your father died and I can't imagine my daughter's grief and yours.
    You need to write a story about him and submit it to the Chicken Soup book coming out next year about Dad's. If you need any help--ask me!

  10. Terri, that's a great idea. I'll have to do that. Where would I find the guidelines for that?