I can get completely lost in my own thoughts when it comes to my dad. My mind jumps from memory to memory and I find myself flooded with a wide range of emotions. To say that my dad made an impact on my life and that I am the person I am today because of the influence he had on me, is to say the least.
I am what you would call.........daddy's little girl......or at least was, in various stages of my life, depending on how "grown up" I feel at the time!
No matter what was going on in our lives, my dad always made it a point to talk to me....explain things to me.....enable me to see life through open eyes......show me that through crisis and pain, the best lessons are learned and the more people can grow to become better human beings.
I remember the thousand times that my sister and I would sit waiting in the car right outside the church doors until my dad had talked with each and every person there....until he was done helping anyone there that had an immediate crisis and needed his counsel....until he would jump into the car and take us to the restaurant where twenty people would be waiting to have lunch with my dad just to spend more time discussing, laughing, enjoying.
I remember always having people in our house, sharing a meal, and listening to the intense and enlightening conversations they would have with my dad, talking about everything from theology to relationships to finances.....yet, he never made me leave the room or dismissed me because it was "grown-up talk".....he always answered any questions I would have, no matter what.....and at times, he even asked me what I thought!
I also remember his quiet times......finding him laying on the couch listening to music and as I entered the room, he would tell me to sit and listen to the words, explaining to me the idea behind the lyrics.......finding him sitting in his office, preparing his sermon, with stacks and stacks of books around him, each one with his highlighting and note taking inside, and as I entered the room asking him what he was going to talk about on Sunday, he would look up, and without skipping a beat, go through his notes, telling me every word with such passion and emotions, as if to say, "you're as important to me and my purpose right now, as 1,000 people are, sitting in the congregation on Sunday"!!
I remember getting the phone call.....that my big, strong daddy had collapsed.....running into the emergency room and being told that he may not live....hearing that his brain was filled with blood and they were going to have to operate......sitting in rooms filled with people praying, hugging me, bringing me tissues and food....learning that he had had a stroke and doctors had miraculously removed the cause.......taking a semester off of school so I could sit in his room and wait, not wanting to miss any of his recovery.....watching him slowly recover and slowly making progress
adjusting to a new daddy....one that may need more time moving from one place to the next and can't have the fast-paced life he used to......BUT......still loves to sit and talk with me....still asks me about my thoughts and my feelings....still makes me feel as important and special as I did when I was little.....still teaches me through his own observations of the world.
I am incredibly proud to have a dad that has shown me what it means to truly care for others....to be open to other people and their ideas.....to be an influence to those around me....to think of the impact I have on the world around me.....and especially to take the time to be thankful each and every day for the miracle of life I am given.
No matter what happens in my life or my situation....I know that my heart will always belong to my dad.......and I will forever be....Daddy's Little Girl!