Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!

This past Saturday was my dad's birthday. He celebrated it in typical Dad fashion, by attending Super Chevy in Memphis, TN. My dad is a car guy to the nth degree. He's a complete motorhead, and I mean that in the best possible way. He can fix anything on God's green earth with a few Snap-On tools and some time. I know this because he's fixed my cars and my houses, and he's fixed the cars and houses of most everyone in my family. Even if he's never seen something before in his life, he can take it apart, figure it out, and fix it. My grandma used to tell me stories of Dad taking apart her appliances just to see how they worked.

Dad is a quiet kind of guy. He's one of those men whose strengths run silent and deep, and he's been like a rock in my life. No matter what has been going on in my own world, I knew I could go to him for peace and strength and fortitude and calm. I could go to him to feel better. Even if it was just a phone call, I hung up feeling okay. I was okay, life was okay, everything was going to (eventually) be okay. I have gone to him for many things throughout my life (emotional support, gas money, answers, help fixing things, and now babysitting...) and he's never, ever said no. In essence, he's a true dad. He has always been there for me.

I remember once, in college, getting totally tanked and deciding that my dad was so cool that I needed to call him, right then in and there, and tell him that. And, you know, that I loved him and all. So I did. Wasted. And he was so cool that he laughed that I was drunk, and he's such a dad in that he's never, ever, let me forget that I did it. We have tons of fun memories like that, and the best part is, we're making more every day.

I see him differently now, now that I've grown up and had my own child. I watch him interact with her and I love it. I watch him sit on the floor and read to her, and play with her, and just enjoy being around her, and it makes me love him even more than I ever thought possible. He's an awesome grandpa, even if he is sneaky and teaches Zozo to kiss his picture before she goes to bed.

I'm fortunate in that I get to work with my dad now, in our family's business, so I get to see him a lot. No matter what's going on, he always manages to make me laugh. And, it's never a bad thing to get hugs from your dad in the middle of the work day.

So, happy birthday to my Dad. If your day was half as happy as you've made me, well, then you had a great birthday!


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