So here goes.
Things I love about my Dad.
His steady steadfastness (some might call this stubbornness but today I choose to rejoice in the good aspects of stubbornness). He is a deeply committed man, true to his word and has taught me lots about the slow steady plod on this long walk home.
He gave me my love of nature. By taking us for walks in the country every Saturday and Sunday afternoon he gave me my obsessive need to get outdoors at least once (preferably more) a day. Those times are ingrained on my soul. It’s fairly certain that I’ll ingrain that on my kids souls too.
He taught me how to walk up mountains. Slowly, step by step, small steps at a time. It’s a good way to walk through life too.
He taught me about how much Jesus means. Throughout my childhood and teenage years I knew every morning he would go to his study, read his Bible, pray and desired for God to make an actual difference in his life.
He’s incredibly generous and kind. I love this man and his generous love bailing me out of many a situation in my 20s.
He’s super shy but to us he has always been our Dad who made us laugh. I valued his humour growing up as well as his ability to be someone in whose arms I could safely let out all my anger and rage.
He is a walking example of the acts of service love language. Every morning growing up he would bring Mum a cup of tea and us a glass of squash and brought it to our bedrooms, before going off to talk to Jesus. He did stuff around the house, he cleaned, washed up, got stuck into household chores and made amazing things. He was an incredible example to my brother of how to be a gentle, kind, servant hearted man. Unsurprisingly my brother has grown up to be just such a man to his family. Unsurprisingly I married a man who was kind, gentle and servant hearted. His legacy is strong.
He never really says it, and I think he’s phoned me up once in his life but I know he is crazy about me and loves me to the moon and back. It’s odd how that can happen without many words but it can. And I am glad I know. (I also know this because of his wonderful chat with husbandface when he was slightly old fashionably asking my Dad if he could marry me).
When he gave me away at our wedding (I think more for his sanity and sense of handing over his over-fatherly sense of responsibility than for any reality that I was someone who could be given away) he gave the loudest I DO ever. He made everyone laugh. I know that meant he loved me and was very glad this day was happening.
I loved that his wedding speech was full of in jokes and references that only he and I and Mum and Mark would get. It made it way more personal and lovely.
He wasn’t afraid to talk to me as a teenager about whether I was seeking to be closer to Jesus in my friendships and relationships. That might sound overly heavy but it was a deep expression of his love for me, he talked to me about these things and I’ll never forget the life turning night when he challenged me about a relationship that wasn’t great for me and to seek my relationship with Jesus. I acted on that challenge and lots changed that night. I am grateful that he cared.
I could go on. I am so grateful to have this man as my Dad. I once asked my Mum why she’d married him and she said one of the reasons was because she knew he would be a great Dad (no idea if you remember that Mum!?), as someone who didn’t have a Dad from the age of 5 she had that desire firmly in her head. I am glad because I got an amazingly kind, generous, loving Dad who I had a lot of fun with.
Lastly I count myself as privileged to be unconditionally loved by this man and glad of the echo there of the unconditional love I have from my heavenly parent. I can understand God’s love a little better because I had a Daddy I could cry on, who I could batter with my arms when in rage and still be held. I do not take that for granted at all. I am deeply grateful and long to be the kind of parent that through all my flaws and failings am still a little bit of an echo of the massive love God has for my kids.
He isn’t perfect, who is? I could list the things that wind me up about my Dad and although in keeping with our family tradition of being rude to each other to show love I don’t think I will. No back handed compliments today. Just a whole lot of appreciation and love.