I spend so much time being a momma, thinking about being a momma, writing about being a momma, and being a wife that sometimes I forget to put on one of the other important hats that I wear. The one called “daughter”. It’s an important role, too. One I need to be more conscious of and attentive to. And, this is a daughter with a regret. Well, maybe two regrets…
ONE – I think maybe I’m too hard on my father. I hold him to higher, harder to achieve standards. I don’t know why. I let my mother off easily. She’s simply right … no need to argue. But, with my dad, I can’t seem to let it be. I let things get under my skin. I say too much. Or, I say too little. With him, I know I’ve made too many mistakes. Maybe, we are too different. Probably, we are too much the same. I really, simply, don’t have answers. But, it hurts to think about.
TWO– A year or so ago, my sweet father had the opportunity to buy a classic old car. An awesome opportunity. Upon hearing this, I immediately jumped on the Con List Bandwagon. But, why? I don’t know. Today, I don’t really understand my reasons. It wasn’t practical. He wasn’t a “car guy” or a “mister fix-it”. He never “tinkered” around in the garage. He didn’t need to spend his money on something like that. He wouldn’t drive it enough. Honestly?! I don’t know what my problem was. I don’t know why I felt the need to even share my opinion at all. But, I know I was wrong. I know what I should have done, but didn’t. I didn’t talk to him directly. I received all of my news secondhand and formed my opinions without hearing his. I never spoke to HIM about it. I never listened to his reasons or … his dreams. Had I, I would have felt entirely different. It’s a regret. I was wrong. Once the opportunity had past and the car was gone, we finally got to talk about it. Oh, why didn’t we talk sooner?! Once I stopped talking and started listening, it took only mere seconds for me to see it all through his eyes. And, it was like a smack in the face. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if things are practical. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if it makes sense. Sometimes, all you need to do is follow your heart and reach for your dreams. It’s so obvious. I’m ashamed I didn’t see it sooner.
This is a man who has given me everything. He deserves more than I’ve given him. He’s worked hard my entire life so that my mother, brother and I never wanted for anything. He worked hard so that she could be home with us…his greatest gift to us, in my eyes. He worked hard so that we could simply be kids. He never asked for anything from us. This is man who loves the Lord and his family. His heart is big and wide and open. He taught me (he still does) about prayer and about believing and about what faith means. He feels things strongly and he’s passionate about life and the people he loves. I get that from him. This is a man who used to put me in his lap and let me steer the car around the block. A man who put me on his feet and danced me around the room. A man who told me ghost stories instead of bedtime stories … probably not a good move, Dad. I still remember laying awake worrying about the hitchhiker with the hook for a hand. This is a man who understood the need to let loose and let it all go from time to time. The need for fun and laughter. There was always fun and laughter in our home. This is a man that loved (loves) good music and a good book and knew what each could do for the soul. When we were young, he’d turn his music up so loud, the windows in our home would rattle. I still smile every time I think about that. This is a man who surprised me with my first car – a red Honda Civic with a giant white bow on top! A man who made sure I had the wedding of my dreams. A man who reads every article I post and comments faithfully. A man who I know will, no matter what, love me until the end of time. And, this is a man who is hands down the most loving grandfather I could have ever hoped or imagined for my children. They get only good from him. As a father, he had to be hard as well as soft. He wasn’t perfect (but, who is, right? who wants perfect, anyways?). He had his share of flaws and there were tough times in our household, too. But, as a grandfather, he’s only soft. My children have simply melted away everything else. He’s pure love with them.
And, so, Dad, on this Father’s Day, rather than apologize for the things that I regret (you’ve already forgive me anyways), I’m simply going to thank you for the lessons that these experiences taught me. Never let your dreams die. And, I won’t either. I love you.