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A Father's Day Reflection and Dedication to my Dad and Husband

Posted Jun 20 2011 10:45am
As I sat feeding L2 this morning, I thought about all the reasons I appreciate my father and husband, yet fail to take the time to thank them throughout the year.  In response to my thoughts and reflections on Father's Day, I've written each of them letters that I would like to share here.

Dear Dad,
I rarely have the opportunity or take the time to tell you how much gratitude I have for your love and support.  You never gave up on spending time with me as a child, no matter how difficult my mother made it for you.  You drove hours just for a 36 hour visit with me.  You came immediately when I was left traumatized after being the victim of a violent crime as a middle-schooler.  When you learned of the abuse and neglect I had suffered under my mother's care, you made a plan and came to take me away, even as a Senior in High School.  When I could only manage to bring a few personal belongings with me that day, you took me shopping for new clothes so I could feel better about myself.  When you realized that switching schools my Senior year would cause even more trauma for me, you sacrificed your only opportunity for me to live with you permanently that last year of High School and asked your parents to care for me so I could remain with my friends and teachers.  You'll never know how that one choice impacted the rest of my life.  That year with Gram was the greatest gift you could have ever given me.

You've never raised your voice or hand to me.  No matter how angry I must have made you, you always listened and respected me enough to figure out how to do the right thing on my own.  Even when I disappointed you with one of the "Big Five" (gratefully the least of the offenses in wrecking my new car), instead of holding a grudge and lecturing me about how much of a bad choice I had made to drive down an icy hill just to take a trip to the mall, you allowed me to take responsibility and learn how to deal with insurance companies, auto repair shops and repayment of the loan towards my deductible.

When I was sick after having L1, not once did you question the validity of what I was experiencing or tell me to "get over it".  Instead, you left a luxurious resort and rushed to be by my side.  When I was having a panic attack, you held me and told me you understood, instead of telling me to suck it up or trying to distract me or minimize it.  When I couldn't care for myself you made extra trips to Atlanta so I wouldn't have to spend my days alone, racked with anxiety.  When I got better you celebrated with me.

Thank you for being the kind of Dad that always tells others how proud you are of me, that always wants to take the time to talk with me, and that won't ever give up on me.  I love you.

Dear M,From the day we had our first date...a casual lunch at a local college restaurant...I knew I would marry you.  I wouldn't admit it to others or myself, but I came home from that meal completely surprised myself at the certainty in my head and heart about that.  We didn't marry until 6 years later, but I always knew that despite the ups and downs and "togethers and aparts", God had made us for each other.
As I reflect on this particular Father's Day, I want to thank you for becoming the kind of father that I am proud to be married to.  When our children are in your care I never worry or question that they are safe and healthy.  When you are away from us, I can always be certain that you are doing whatever it is not only for yourself, but for us.  If you are working, I know it's so we can have financial security and insure that our children have the best possible future ahead by saving for tuition at good schools, being able to buy healthy foods, having the opportunity to travel and experience cultural and educational experiences, and setting a good example of the work ethic that was passed down to you by your own father.  If you are exercising, I know that you are taking the time to care for your body so you are best able to care for us, both by having released your stress and by staying healthy so you can be with us and provide for us as long as God allows.  If you are spending time with friends, taking up a hobby, enjoying watching sports or even getting a massage, I know that even then you are caring for yourself so that you can come home to us refreshed and able to enjoy your family time even more.
As a husband, you balance me, which balances our family and provides a healthy home for our children.  Your flexibility for my rigidity.  Your goofiness for my seriousness.  Your frugality for my whimsy.  Your practicality for my romanticism.  Your aloofness for my over-analyzing.  Your big thinking for my getting stuck in the details.  Your fortitude during my times of anxiety or weakness.
Thank you for being you.  I love you.
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