Monday, June 14, 2010

My Dad. *happy sigh*

I am SO a Daddy's girl. That's not to say I'm not a Mama's girl (so settle down, Mom). But my Dad makes my heart smile. See, like all children, I was born with a dad-shaped hole inside me and thank God, I was born into a family with a father who is every kid's dream dad.

Dad and I are alot alike. Believe me, this has caused mucho mucho mucho friction through the years, but the undercurrent has always been one of deep love between us. He's a booger, that guy. Hard-headed doesn't even TOUCH the will and determination of this man. He's precise, to the point, black-and-white, and VERY fact-of-the-matter. He could be a bully, (used to be a bully) but thank God he found Jesus in his early twenties and became a revised version of the tough guy he was.

I couldn't let Father's Day get this close without writing a "tribute" of sorts to the man, who in my book, stands shoulders above all men.


He's so stinkin' cute.

My first memory EVER is of me crying because white bread with mayo was stuck to the roof of my mouth. Dad was saying, "QUIT YOUR CRYING AND EAT THE BREAD."

He used to take me to town with him on Saturdays to run errands. He'd pretend to fall asleep in the barber's chair while getting his hair cut and freak me out. I fell for it for YEARS.

Another early memory is Dad standing outside in the early morning beside my new swingset he put together, smiling.

I loved wearing his work boots when he'd come home. Who knew that three decades later, I'd be following in those big footsteps for real.

When I was a little girl, we'd dance in the living room, me in his arms. He'd step on my socks and pull them off. I "hated" that. But not really.

I love his hands. They represent years of digging ditches, driving heavy machinery, highlighting Bible verses, laying hands on hurting people, spanking his children's rear-ends when needed, and holding my Mom every chance he gets.

I love it that I have the same annoying baby curls around my hairline, the same strange birthmark on the back of my neck, and the same one-sided dimple as he does when I smile.

I love it that even though MANY other people call him "dad," there's only two of us who really can.

When I was 17, he and I went to a car dealership and I fell in love with a 1987 Chevy Spectrum. I knew we didn't have the money, but it sure was fun to dream. I went skating that night. When I came home, he was so mad that I "left without taking out the trash to the garage" like he asked me to earlier. I went out to the garage, trying to remember him telling me to do that to begin with, and there was my car. How he worked that miracle I'll never know. But the even better part is he loved me enough to make ME make the monthly payments.

I remember when his step-grandfather died, he sat in his home office and wept from his soul. I was a little bitty girl then, but the sight of my dad crying broke my heart and made him even bigger in my eyes.

He has no problem apologizing when he has wronged me.

When my childhood dog came up missing, my dad searched endlessly for him. After days, the dog came back, barely alive from being mauled by pit-bulls. We didn't have the money to save him, so my dad had to make the gut-wrenching decision to have a friend take him away and "take care of him." I was so angry then, but I know now that as much as it broke MY heart, it broke his 100 times worse.

The man cannot talk about how much he loves his family without crying.

He actually is sweet to the dog, in spite of her girliness and finickiness. I think it's so cute when I pull up at their house and he's standing there with her on her hot pink leash with bows in her hair as he tries to make her go potty. He does NOT look happy, and neither does the dog.

He rarely gets excited about anything, but can't wait until Christmas morning... so he can see all the kids (me, Lori, our husbands, and now the grandkids) open our gifts.

The day I got married, he woke me up with bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits from Hardees. You gotta love a man who will give you breakfast in bed on special occasions, even if he didn't cook it.

I love it that I can still curl up on the couch beside him. I can still hold his hand in public. I can still sit in his lap and sweet talk him into just about anything.

I love it that he has made it his own personal mission to hang the blinds and pictures in every house we move into. (and that's alot.)

I love it that he doesn't treat me like his child AT ALL just because I'm on his staff... But as soon as we walk out of the doors of this building, I'm his little girl again.

I was induced into labor with Abi, so we were scheduled to be at the hospital at 7 AM that day. He was waiting on the sidewalk in the cold when we pulled up.

His integrity is his finest asset. I've watched him all my life and I've had a front row seat to see what only a few people have ever seen about him. And there are no loop holes in his character... no false pretenses, no fakeness. He is who he claims to be. Is he perfect? Nope. But the key is he knows he's not.

When I was 29 years old and falling to pieces with depression and literally thought I was losing my mind, he sat with me on my couch, wrapped his arms around me, and said, "Baby, I've got the faith to pull you through this. Lean on me. We'll get through it.” A small glimpse of hope came alive in me in that brief moment.

I love that man.

He's big and bad, but very meek and fuzzy. He's my first love. He modeled what a real man is my whole childhood, and will be my gold standard my whole life. And because of him, my heart to lead me to Rodrick. For that reason alone, I praise God that Allen Speegle is my dad.

Dad, you're literally THE man. I hope that other men read this and strive to be 10% of the man you are. But more than that, I hope you see that I would be literally nothing without you. Because of you, I'm confident, a little cocky, assertive, sensitive, bull-headed, and a little bit off in the head.

Thanks for all of that.

And no matter where I go on this planet, I gotta tell you Dad… I still smile when people say, “This is Allen Speegle’s daughter.”

I always will.

1 comment:

  1. Don't know what to say, but that I am so proud of you -- your honesty and your willingness to learn from other people. Knowing you two made this a very special reading for me.