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"You know you are my Hero, right?"

 Friday, June 19, 2015

"Heroes didn't leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn't wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else's. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back...” 

Let me talk about the man who first stole my heart for a moment....

I am not sure what the very first moment was that I fell in love with this man, maybe because I was too young to even know at the time.

When many people see this man, they see a guy in a T-shirt, jeans, and more than likely flip flops. They see a man who they assume works outside due to his sun burned cheeks and his tan line around his neck. They may notice his hands, calloused and cracked from hours of hard work. And they will most likely see his infectious smile and his want to cook for everyone he meets. But what I see when I look at him…

I see one of the only men in my life who has never lied to me, and who faithfully shows me he loves me. I see a man who taught me how to pray, watching him bow down to his knees to pray more times than I can count, never once becoming too big or too prideful to drop to his knees and ask the Lord for help. I see a man who built several businesses from the bottom up, with integrity, honesty and his own blood, sweat and tears and turned into into a successful lively-hood for not only himself, but a whole crew of guys. I see a man who has worked countless hours behind the scene to make sure everyone in his life was taken care of.  Yet you would never know it because he is too humble to speak of his accomplishments.
For as far back as I can remember, I have been a daddy’s girl. My dad, in my eyes, is the best dad a girl could ask for. When some people think of a daddy’s girl they think about a daughter and father dancing in the living room or dressing up having tea parties… Which I am sure he probably did… But that’s not what I remember...
I remember my dad coming home from working long hard hours and stopped at the store every single day to bring me home a glass bottle of Dr. Pepper...having only taken 2 small sips out of it so that he could give me the rest. I remember walking into his shop one day to discover his biggest and nicest tool box was gone....when I asked where it was he said he didn't need it anymore. Only years did I find out he sold it so that my brother and I could have Christmas. I remember sitting in the Coffee Kettle scared out of my mind...he grabbed my hand and said "I know you are pregnant." and when the tears started flowing he said "We will get through a family." I remember the day I got married and standing outside the church with my arm in his waiting to walk down the isle and he asked me "Is this what you want? Are you truly happy?" and when I said "Yes Daddy"....he said ok and looked at me with a smile I had seen many times in my life and he said "I am proud of you." 

I remember him always making up nick names for each of us kids, which always made us feel special, and most of which still remain now even as adults. I remember the silly songs he would always sing on road trips.... To this day I can't get "Round Round Ole Joe Clark" out of my head. 
I remember being woke up at 2 AM and told to get in the van....and when I woke up we were sitting at this 50's style diner in Panama City Beach where we would always eat breakfast....and we spent the rest of the day on the beach....eating a sand filled bologna sandwich and potato chips....coming home sunburned and tired. Ice cream was always a treat on the way home. I remember as I got older, I would sit with him quietly in the kitchen, choking back a cup of coffee just so I could be like him.  I remember when I was about to step up to the start line of my 2nd marathon and I was so disappointed because he had never missed one of my big races....Him, Gina and I always say a prayer right before we start.....and as I stepped out of the bathroom he was standing there. He got up early and drove 3 hours to see me for 60 seconds before he waiting again for me to cross that finish line 4 hours later. 

I remember siting beside his hospital bed when he had open heart surgery....and Gina would go outside to get a bit of fresh air...I held his hand and when he was asleep from the pain medicine, I would repeat the same words he always told me..."We will get through a family." 
And several, several years later....I remember walking his first Half Marathon with him....and the honor and pride I felt. I wanted to shout from the roof top "That's my Daddy!" 

And even though these are not the traditional “daddy-daughter” moments… they were our moments. They weren’t moments filled with keeping up with the Jones’, or trying to be someone he wasn’t, they were memories that I could only make with my dad. Real memories that made me love him even more.
Now that I have become a mom, I have found that my favorite part about my dad is seeing him with my kids. He is patient and kind, and never pushy. My kids know they can trust him and go to him, and he will be there without failure of a doubt. I see the way my kids look at him, and I am confident they see what I saw all of these years. A man who will always protect them, will always be truthful, and who will never judge them. He will always be their biggest fan. 

I can't pinpoint down when he started doing it....but somewhere in the last 4 to 5 years after a big race or just a moment when he hugs me he has started whispering to me "You know you are my Hero, right?" He says this me as if I have done something if I am someone he looks up to. I always respond with "I love you too Daddy" .....
I honestly can tell you that I have no clue why he calls me his Hero.....when all I have ever thought was how much he was mine....

Thank you Daddy for always being there...for holding my hand....for believing in me...
You know you are my Hero, right? 


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