Thursday, May 14, 2009

Wishing you were here, Dad!

Today is my Dad's birthday.

He would have been 65.

All week I have felt as if I should have been rushing out to buy his gift. I probably would have bought him Ann Coulter's new book. I would have given him a hard time about buying into her right wing theories. Then, I would have read it when he was done just to argue some of her points with him.

I remember running to Cold Stone Creamery with my Mom last year for his birthday cake. He loved ice-cream cake. I don't care for it, but would give anything to share a piece with my Dad this year for his birthday.

In honor of my Dad's birthday...I would like to share just a few stories to show what a great father he was. My Dad was a "girls Dad." I'm not sure he would have known what to do with a son. Well, I'm sure he would have figured it out...but, boy, was he great to his three girls. Here is why:
  • When Michelle had just started Valley Grove Elementary as the "new girl", she entered a cake decorating contest. My mom insisted she decorate the cake herself (even though my mom is an expert). My mom thought it would be a good lesson for Michelle to try on her own. My Dad and Michelle arrived at school with her sloppy cake she decorated ...only to find other cakes that were obviously decorated with Mom's help (if not a local bakery). Dad calmly looked at Michelle and said, "Want to get out of here and go to McDonald's?" Michelle took him up on his offer.
  • Years later, when it came time for me to compete in the "invention" contest at school - Mom and Dad learned their lesson. Dad was to "help" me invent something. Dad pulled out his electrician skills and built the "Teenage Telephone Timer." The timer would automatically shut the telephone line off in an instant when the call time was over. I didn't win the "invention" contest...but I think it was because it was obvious I had "help." I didn't care that I didn't win. I was so impressed with my Dad's skills. I thought he was so smart.
  • Having three girls, Dad never complained about attending beauty pageants for us when we were young. Instead, Dad would sit in the back and "gossip" with all the other mothers. At night, after dinner and a swim in the hotel pool...Dad would dish all the scoop he had gathered that day. I remember thinking all the Dad's did this. However, I know that wasn't true.
  • When it came time for Deb and Shel to be in the band in high school. Dad was the "Band Booster President." His plaque showcasing his service to the high school band hung in his office for years. He wasn't so much proud of being president as he was proud to be a part his daughters activity.
  • When I started high-school. I soon realized it wasn't "cool" to ride the school bus anymore. Dad immediately offered to take my friend, Jenny, and I to school each day. However, Dad made sure a stop at McDonald's for breakfast was part of our morning routine. Dad would ask Jenny and I about school, our friends, and activities. I can still picture sitting next to Jenny and across from my Dad with my Egg McMuffin.
  • Speaking of Jenny...She was married in Florida a few years ago. Another long-time friend of mine was married in Florida the same year. As soon as the invites came in the mail. Both my parents were on the computer arranging flights. I always loved the way they loved my friends...and continued to do so as we became adults. My Dad would often ask about them or call me with excitement if he ran into one of them.
  • At the end of my senior year in high school I tried out for cheerleader at Franklin College. I didn't make it. I was crushed. I vividly remember my dad sitting on my bed with me while I cried. All over cheerleading. He didn't care what it was over. He wasn't leaving until I felt better. A couple weeks into my freshman year at Franklin, I was notified that a girl had quit the cheerleading squad and I was asked to join. I had a matter of days before our first game. It was at another college 3 hours away. When the bus pulled up, there was my Mom and Dad. Decked out in their Blue and Gold ready to cheer on the Grizzlies...and me. They came the next week, the week after that, and the next week...
  • My Dad never missed a Prom. I look back at all of my pictures of me getting ready for prom, photos with my date outside, pictures walking into prom, photos with friends after prom...and you can see my Dad in all of them. Both my parents were always involved in After Prom. I can remember Deb's After Prom vividly. My Dad dressed up as a clown in a park and "married" couples who had been to prom together. My mom was the "bag lady" and stood up with each couple as they got "married." I got to attend that After Prom with my parents...and I loved every minute of it. So did my Dad...
  • Having my Dad walk me down the isle at my wedding was one of the bests parts of the day. Justin knows this. We talk often about how much it meant to me. I am Daddy's Little Girl...and I had looked forward to that moment for so long. Dad waited with me downstairs while the rest of the bridal party took their place. I remember he said to me, "I'm proud of you." I thought this was odd...I hadn't really accomplished anything. I fell in love and was marrying the man of my dreams...but I hadn't cured cancer or solved world hunger. Dad explained he was proud of the judgement I had in choosing a husband. He was proud of the adult I had become. I walked down the isle glowing partly because of who was standing at the other end...but also because of what my Dad had said to me.

There are countless other stories I could share to show you how truly lucky my sisters and I are to have had the father that we did. He was one of kind and couldn't have loved his daughters more.

I miss him everyday. I'm sad there won't be chances to create more stories like the ones above. So, instead, I hold on to the ones I do have.

Happy Birthday, Dad. We miss you...and love you even more.


Jessica said...

Your dad was special to so many people. We all miss him. He is still so proud of you Kris. He would be so amazed on what a wonderful mother you are to Jackson. Hugs and much love to you.

mboyd said...

Great memories...makes me miss him so very much!

Mom or Bonnie said...

WEll, I cried through the whole blog--just like I always do. Your dad truly was "one of a kind". He was a remarkable father. And, I know in my heart he is thinking what remarkable parents you and Justin are, too. Rodney and I will never have a friend quite like your dad again--weren't we lucky to know him all these years! Bonnie