I have learned over time that a lot of daughters do not have the wonderful heroic image of their father as I do. It is very sad to me to realize not all daughters are the apple of their father’s eyes.
My Dad was my hero and my Prince Charming. He was the root of my self-esteem – he always said I could do anything, be anything I wanted. When I was a young adult he said, on my dating, you can BE an attorney, a doctor, a teacher, a leader – you don't have to marry one. (Of course, he would have been quite content if my sister and I remained pure, sweet, and innocent for our remaining days – a convent would not be disappointing to him.)
I was the light of my Dad’s life; my sister and I held a special place in his heart, making our brothers take a back seat. Sorry guys.
When I was in 8th grade (at one of the last eight-grade schools here in Spokane), we had a Father Daughter Tea. I was beyond thrilled to have my Dad, suited up, attend this tea. (So, that’s probably why I like men in uniform; a suit is such a class act!)
My Dad was ten feet tall to me. I would place my feet on his and he would dance me around the living room. He was everything to me and I to him. Once I sliced open my hand on a broken glass milk bottle (remember those?) He was just sick with grief for that little injury. The emergency room staff made him leave because they didn’t want to deal with a fainting father. His hand hurt…. Later when he broke his leg, my leg itched. We joked that it was too bad that when I scratched my leg, it wouldn’t relieve the terrible itching he had under his cast that ran from his foot to his hip. (I was 16 – in fact, he broke his leg the day before my birthday and that was a time that hospitals limited visitors to 16 and older.)
Funny, years after I became a mother and had two sons, I was walking out of the building I worked in, a bank, and this cute little man held the door open for me. I blinked, thinking he looked familiar when I realized that it was my ten-foot tall hero-Dad displayed as the real human being he was - only a couple inches taller than me. :)
In March of 1994, I wrote a short article that was picked for “Your Turn” in the Spokesman Review, titled “Happy Father’s Day.” It wasn’t Father’s Day; it was a memorial for my Dad who died December 19, 1993.
It was a thank you to my Dad; I had turned it into a speech for my Toastmaster’s group and it went something like this:
Thank you, Dad, for all the memories.
There are more wonderful memories. But the Dad-Daughter Dessert has to be right up there on top.
At the end of my Toastmaster’s speech, every guy in the room who had a daughter came up to me to thank me for reminding me of their most important duty as a father.
A father’s love for his child is the foundation for that child’s future. And a father’s relationship to his daughter is unique and the force behind her self esteem, growth, life, decisions.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I miss you greatly!