When fetching Jamie from school one day, I heard more than one Dad yell out to their daughters “Hello beautiful!” as they ran up to them with open arms and embraced them with a warm hug and a kiss on the forehead.
It gave me the warmest feeling and made me realise, firstly, that there are Dad’s out there making their daughters feel loved and showing them they are worthy of love (YES MAN!), and secondly, how lucky I am to have my Dad amongst all my friends that live in the pain of not being able to call or see their Dad again.
I have been struggling to write this post for a while because it is very close to home. With my kids being children of divorce, despite the fact that it is hard to see them go through and be affected by the tough seasons as they come and go, it is mostly difficult to comprehend that they are living certain circumstances which are completely unfamiliar to me and the way that I grew up.
When I was going through the peak of my wilderness season, I left my parents’ house one day and my Dad looked at me, without saying a word, and it calmed my anxiety. His eyes and smile said, “everything will be okay”. And I knew I could count on his words even though he didn’t physically say them. From that moment, a shift happened. I acquired a deeper sense of appreciation for my Dad, even though I didn’t think it were possible to appreciate him any more than I already did. Not only did that look take away my anxiety of the journey I was about to endeavor, but it also erased a lot of pain and regret I carried for the stress I had put them through as a teenager.
Life is filled with uncertainties, constantly disturbed by changes, big and small, but there is one thing I am sure of; I will always and forever be his little girl, my Dad will be my hero as long as I am gifted with the privilege of having him in my life. He taught me how to see the brighter side of life which has undoubtedly got me to where I am today, it forced me to hold on to the life that he was confident I was capable of living, to embrace the changes with both feet firmly rooted in the ground. This way of life; this calm, resilient life filled with an infectious sense of humour is something that I can only hope I have the capability to pass on to my children to make them better equip for life. My Dad has given me this gift and I may have never thanked him for all of it, and I may never phone him every day to tell him how much I love him, but I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and appreciation for every bit of life he has given me, as well as the support he constantly gives his grandchildren. I could not be prouder that my Dad is such an important inspirational role in their lives. It’s as if I am witnessing my life from the outside and watching as he teaches, loves, and comforts my children, as if I have the opportunity to get a glimpse of what my life was like with my Dad in the days I can’t remember as a little girl. Without reservation, this has to be the most powerful gift seeing my kids appreciating life with my parents. I will never take this for granted.
Dad, I cannot wait to walk down the Aisle with you, to have that special moment with you will be a memory I will hold close to my heart and appreciate for the rest of my life. You may be giving me away on that day, but know this; you are exceptional! Thank you for supporting Mom and working as a strong team to raise us, showing us how important it is to be present, always putting us first, and setting a significant example for the expectations of marriage and family values. I may have failed at a lot, but one thing I know is that you were my constant. I always have, and always will look up to you.
I love you Dad.