This blog is typically a forum for me to share my athletic adventures (feats of strength, anyone?), so this post might be somewhat unconventional. But it’s my blog so I can do whatever I want!
On this eve of Father’s Day 2013, I am missing my dad, just as I have every Father’s Day for the past 11 years. Therefore, I’m going to use this opportunity to pay tribute to the man who loved me, raised me, gave root to my passion for running and then showed me my wings and taught me to fly.
When I graduated from High School, my dad gave me a journal. In the first few pages, he shared his memories of watching me grow up. Memories of things he had watched me do and things we had done together. He told me over and over how proud he was of me and my ability to work hard despite my circumstances. He wrote…”I’m proud when I hear that you are recognized for your smile and the spirit it brings others. Your high school days have been a reflection of life. There have been really good times and some not so good times but through it all you have continued to smile.”
Life continues to have it’s challenges, but just like my dad said, through it all I keep on smiling.
My dad’s journal entry concluded with him writing…”You have a gift with words and poetry that I have never had. I’m proud of you. Success is ahead of you. Love, Dad”
Some things don’t go the way we plan, and some things never change. When I got married in July of 2000, I was so blessed to have my dad by my side walking me down the aisle. The night before, at the rehersal dinner, I read a poem I had written for him. There was not a dry eye in the room. I read it again at his funeral on December 5, 2001. Again, there was not a dry eye in the room. As I sit here alone, typing these words, I assure you, there is once more not a dry eye in the room.
So, in honor of this Father’s Day, I’m going to share a slightly modified version of the poem that I wrote for my dad and had the privilege of reading to him almost 13 years ago. Here it is…
Father of the Bride
You’ve been my hero, my shining knight
You taught me pride and wrong from right.
You walked me to North Hi-Mount when I was just passed your knees.
You dropped off your “Pup” at Chuck E. Cheese.
On a little blue bike, you taught me to ride slow,
Even though I yelled, “Daddy, don’t let go!”
We ran 5k races side by side,
You always let me win in the very last stride.
Breakfasts at 7, MANY wake-up calls,
Credit cards, phone bills, trips to the mall.
Whether driving a pick-up or a little black ‘Vette,
Checking the oil I will never forget!
Broken hearts, softball tears,
Cross country races, football cheers.
Rowing smiles, choir voices,
Some good grades, some bad choices.
Referee and chauffeur you have been,
My teacher, my coach, my father, my friend.
You saw it all, you wiped the tears,
You mended my heart, you calmed my fears.
You taught me tradition and what family means,
You gave me faith in myself because you always believed.
I hope I’m the daughter you thought I would be,
I’m everything that I am because you loved me.
So as you give me away, with your love and a kiss,
If nothing else, please remember this…
Where ever I go in this great big world,
I will always be my dad’s girl!
This Father’s Day, if you are a father, I honor you. If you are spending the day with your father, I envy you. Make the most of every moment you’re given!
And to my dad: Dad, You were right. High School was a reflection of life…some good times and some not so good times. But you taught me how to get through it, how to lean on my family, and how to keep smiling no matter what! I have been so blessed to be your girl. If I can prove to be even a fraction of the person that you were on this earth, then I know I am on the right track. Thank you for loving me through it all, Dad. I love you and miss you every day. Til we meet again…Love, Lindsey