Monday, March 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I'm a lucky girl--how many people get to write 2 honoring posts about their parents in 1 week? I do not take for granted how blessed I am to have them!!

Yesterday was my dad's birthday and we had fun celebrating him! Saturday night, Josh and I went out with my parents and sister for an adults-only (and baby Davis) dinner. It's always great to have some time with them when the kids aren't around. (We finished most of our conversations, hahaha.) My dad is easy to  celebrate because, like my mom, he is also an amazing person who gives his life away. I cannot tell you how many people tell me how much he means to them, how he stepped in during some crisis in their life, or how he knew just the right words of wisdom to impart to them. He is a gifted advisor and is compassionate and wise. He blows me away with his discernment and integrity. My dad also loves learning and reading. It's not a holiday til he gives you a book! He instilled that in me as well and between the two of us, we could probably launch our own library!

I was recently telling someone one of my favorite memories with my dad. It's one that I'm not sure I have shared with him lately, either. When I was in the 5th grade, my dad asked me what I thought I would like to be when I grew up. I told him maybe an FBI agent/crime solver or a writer. Not long after that, he and I spent a day together visiting the crime lab here in Little Rock and a local magazine office. He set up appointments for me to meet with professionals in each office who answered my questions and described their days, their jobs, and the education/training it took for them to be there. I specifically remember Greg Patterson, an author at the magazine, encouraging me to read above my level and do crossword puzzles to increase my vocabulary. He told me a good writer was also a voracious reader. That day stuck with me, and here I am 24 years later still wanting to be a writer. What meant so much to me was that I believed that my dad took me seriously and believed I could be a crime solver or a writer. Why else would he have done that? It gave me so much confidence.

My dad is great at making me believe that he thinks I can do something. When I wanted to transfer to UGA, he never blinked or told me it was too much trouble or too much work, we just processed through it and tried to see if it would work. Grad school was the same way--he was willing to financially invest in my decision (I promise I will finish my thesis one day, Dad, and make those text books worth it.).

He is wise and genuine. I will never, ever forget when he had cancer and said, "I just don't want to miss what God has for me during this time." Wow. I just wanted to get through it and him have a clean report, but actually gain and grow from it. Wow. I was challenged and humbled by that.

He is compassionate too. And sometimes I don't want a hug from him because I know that I am likely to lose all composure in his arms. He is tender with me and with my kids and they are big fans of their Papa.

I could go on and on and on about him . . . about how I didn't stand much of a chance to date in high school because no guy stood much of a chance getting through him. The few who did were solid guys and a couple of the "bad ones" are probably still a little scared of him. (I love that :)  ) or about how fun he is or how generous he is . . . on and on and on.

Dad--happy birthday!! I love you so much! We all do. We are blessed to call you Dad, David, and Papa. Thank you for investing in us, for making fun memories, for showing up at events, and for leaving us an amazing legacy. We are so thankful for your 63 years and hoping for many, many more.

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