A Tribute to the Dads in My Life
My grandfather was the first “Dad” in my life. As a matter of fact, my very first memory is of my second birthday when he gave me a store-bought cake, which was a big deal in my family! It was decorated with white frosting and had a beautiful little girl on it in a blue dress! My grandfather gave me the gift of laughter … to this day I love to see him laugh and giggle as his belly jiggles! He has one of those contagious laughs … you know, the kind where you have no idea what is so funny, but you can’t help but to laugh because he’s having such a good time laughing!
My grandfather’s hands have always been a mystery to me. As a child, I would just stare at them and wonder … they are huge, strong hands … cracked and worn from years of manual labor performed out of necessity and love. But those same rough hands can be so gentle and giving to a little one poised on Granddaddy’s lap … the most coveted seat in the house. From him, I have learned the joy of serving … quietly, faithfully, not assuming any special rights or privileges for the sacrifices made … just the simple art of performing daily duties with constant love and a willingness to do what others are not willing to do.
My daddy was the next “Dad” in my life. You see, I never really knew my biological father … but that doesn’t mean that I was fatherless. Oh, no, God saw fit to bless me with another daddy who knew how to be a real father … strong and invincible when necessary, but patient, loving and giving all the same! My daddy is an ex-Marine, so he could bark out orders with a bellowing voice that made the very walls in our house tremble! One of my fondest memories of him is when he came to give a presentation to my third grade class about his military travels. He marched into that classroom with his Marine uniform on … towering over all of us midget third graders! My friends were so impressed with him … a real superhero … my superhero! I was so proud, and still am, that he is my daddy!
Oh, my daddy taught me the value of just being together! My most precious and joyful childhood memories are times spent with my daddy just hangin’ out! Do you know that this big, tough Marine would lie on the floor and let me put my play make-up all over his face? He would read books to me and make up voices for the characters! Some of my favorite times were when Kool and the Gang or Earth, Wind, and Fire would come on the radio! He would stop what he was doing … grab me by the hand … and we would start gettin’ down right then and there … our own little Soul Train line! Boy, was he smooth!
My Honey is the miracle “Dad” in my life. The man who grew up without a father is now a father to seven! The man who knew little of his own heritage now has a legacy to leave on this earth that will impact generations to come! Wow, God is so good! When I first met My Honey, he was a hot-shot college football player … you know, the typical college jock … huge, tough, mean, a total jerk! But I got to witness the miraculous … I saw the Lord Jesus transform him into a man after His own heart! I saw him thirsting after God’s Word like a man trapped in a dry, hot desert! I saw him serving the unreachables and society’s untouchables with passion and zeal and love!
My Honey has made many sacrifices for his children and for me, some of which I probably still don’t know about because he does so quietly, constantly, lovingly. The man works hard, really hard, to provide for our physical needs. But, more importantly, he takes a leading role in the spiritual needs of our household. He desires above all that our children will grow up in the Lord and walk faithfully with Him all the days of their lives. My Honey faithfully teaches the Word to our children and he often asks them the tough questions about life and the world … questions to make them think critically and spiritually … to give them a solid foundation upon which to build future generations who will rise up and serve the Lord, their God, with the same passion and zeal and love that drew me to him!
On this Father’s Day, I am so grateful for all of the Dads in my life. Through each of them, God has given me life lessons and experiences that I will never forget. May the Lord bless them and grant them the desires of their hearts!