This month is the 2nd anniversary of my dad’s passing. I think of him several minutes out of every single day. At different times he just pops into my mind. Sometimes a cloud shape, sometimes a semi-truck, sometimes a weird and funny event will cause him to just tumble through my brain.
He was the strongest, the most handsome and the friendliest man I have ever had the privilege of meeting. He was the protector and provider always. He could be gruff, but usually was only that way to scare the boys off of his 3 little girls. He has always been my hero. ALWAYS.
These words below were not his obviously, but weeks before he passed, he said some things very similar to my sisters and me. Dad I miss you. More than any words or photos can demonstrate. Love, Sami
Words do not come easily for so many men. We are taught to be strong, to provide, to put away our emotions. A father can work his way through his days and never see that his years are going by. If I could go back in time, I would say some things to that young father as he holds, somewhat uncertainly, his daughter for the very first time. These are the things I would say:
When you hear the first whimper in the night, go to the nursery leaving your wife sleeping. Rock in a chair, walk the floor, sing a lullaby so that she will know a man can be gentle.
When Mother is away for the evening, come home from work, do the babysitting. Learn to cook a hotdog or a pot of spaghetti, so that your daughter will know a man can serve another’s needs.
When she performs in school plays or dances in recitals, arrive early, sit in the front seat, devote your full attention. Clap the loudest, so that she will know a man can have eyes only for her.
When she asks for a tree house, don’t just build it, but build it with her. Sit high among the branches and talk about clouds, and caterpillars, and leaves. Ask her about her dreams and wait for her answers, so that she will know a man can listen.
When you pass by her door as she dresses for a date, tell her she is beautiful. Take her on a date yourself. Open doors, buy flowers, look her in the eye, so that she will know a man can respect her.
When she moves away from home, send a card, write a note, call on the phone. If something reminds you of her, take a minute to tell her, so that she will know a man can think of her even when she is away.
Tell her you love her, so that she will know a man can say the words.
If you hurt her, apologize, so that she will know a man can admit that he’s wrong.
These seem like such small things, such a fraction of time in the course of two lives. But a thread does not require much space. It can be too fine for the eye to see, yet, it is the very thing that binds, that takes pieces and laces them into a whole.
Without it, there are tatters.
It is never too late for a man to learn to stitch, to begin mending.
These are the things I would tell that young father, if I could.
A daughter grown up quickly. There isn’t time to waste.
I love you,