I don't pretend to know what happens inside my Dad's head or his heart.
He is mysterious to me. Mysterious to me in the best, most mystical way.
I only know the man that was and is my DAD -- and it should be in capital letters. MY DAD. Glowing hero -- defender of the rights and feelings of little people. Provider, presider, protector. Friend. Under-dog swing pusher. The one who taught me that I could master my temper by shocking me with tales of how his used to be even worse (unthinkable from the man I have only seen truly angry once -- and it was a sight to behold). Christmas light putter-upper. Jet ride giver. Half of the force it took to convince me that Kindness beings with Me. Mumble under the breather. Merciless teaser. Builder of houses. Builder of others. The man who loves his wife more then anyone else I've seen. Kind. A server. An eye roller. A comforter with faith and stillness and strength. A very patient man. A very humble man.
A very quiet man.
Just my Dad.
My friends were terrified of him when we were children.
My friends were jealous that I had him when we were teenagers.
My friends are amazed by my Dad the Grandpa.
My Dad, you know?
My Dad is a convert to the religion I was raised in and cherish to the very depths of my soul. He is and always has been, with my dear Mother, a teacher of my faith, a builder of my faith, the igniter of my faith. When I sing "True to the faith that my parents have cherished" -- it is for them. It is a sacred responsiblity to me to be true to what they have each sacrificed so much for.
I have spent many hours, days, months, years -- completely at a loss as to why things happened in my Dad's life the way they did -- why my great-grandparents, my grandparents made the choices they did.
How my Dad had the courage to make the choices he did.
Though I can not know all that happens in his mind and his heart -- my parents are so much more then I will probably ever know -- I have always known one thing. One thing without a doubt.
My Dad's choices are his own.
He made the brave choice, the lonely choice, the only choice:
to do what was RIGHT.
Let the consequence follow.
It was his choice. His own.
No one could make him do it. No love could coerce him to do it.
Only Faith could make him take that giant leap.
His own personal faith.
And I think that is beautiful.
My life has certainly been preserved and protected and blessed by that individual choice that saved generations. And saved one little girl -- because I would not be the woman I am without it. I know that choice saved me.
So I thank God for my super DAD.
I wish everyone knew the man I know.
Saw the conviction I see.
I guess not everybody can understand that...
And that's okay.
I can be okay with that.
His family sure enjoys the benefits.
So we'll just be thankful!
My Dad is cool.