It is Freaky Friday, but this weekend is Father’s Day. Even if it is a holiday created by the greeting card companies, I want to honor my daddy today.
My daddy is like a country song. He’s inappropriate, he’s funny, he’s loyal, and he’s tough.
Daddy is a born comic. As I told Amber Medina West on her blog, though, Daddy’s humor is often mean. When I was a kid, it was like Mom had two kids. Dad would do stuff like tell me to undress mannequins in stores. Of course, Mom had to spank me, because I wouldn’t tell on my daddy.
Sometimes it’s embarrassing to go places with dad. If we go into a candle store, and I say, “Oh, it smells good in here,” Dad says, “I FARTED.” My dad is quite the guru of potty humor. When I was a kid, he used to say if he farted a green cloud, people would get in it and try to figure out what it was.
Dad’s not a dumb guy, though. He’s made patterns for oil pumping units, and all sorts of other equipment for over forty years. Dad only has a high school education, but he can do geometry in his head. He learned carpentry and built the house he and mom still live in. He can just look at something at figure out how to make one like it.
The older I get, I see more and more of my father’s influence on my behavior. When I set my sights on something, I do what it takes to have it. My father taught me hard work and sacrifice. When Dad was young, and, even now, at sixty-three, Dad often works seven days a week.
My dad is made of the toughest leather and iron I’ve ever known about. He never complains. He has rheumatoid arthritis, but he’d never admit he hurts. He has mesothelioma, but he doesn’t talk about his symptoms. Dad ignores whatever discomfort he feels, and puts his all into everything he does. He never backs down…from anybody or anything.
When I was growing up, Dad expected a lot of me. Back then, I thought he was too hard on me. Now that I face middle age, I understand why Daddy was the way he was. He wanted me to be tough. He wanted me to know how to push myself. He wanted me to be something.
Over the years, I’ve learned my daddy would whup the world for me–even though he made me learn to whup it for myself. That is, after all, what daddies are for. Daddy is who I went to when I wanted someone to stand behind me. Daddy, though, also taught me what he knows about the world and how to live in it. He taught me not to back down.
Time is passing, and I realize more than ever that my time with my daddy is limited. We do things together more often and try to butt heads less. When we get a chance, we go on trips together. We talk.
I’m no longer a little girl; I’m a middle-aged woman. My daddy is is a senior citizen. In my mind though, this picture is who we’ll always be.
I’m telling you guys, they don’t make ’em like my daddy anymore. Thank you, Daddy. I love you.
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