I've known my Dad for a little over 33 years now. I can't remember how we met but I know that it's pretty much been my whole life. I don't think he was the first thing I saw but I know he was one of the first people I met (right after the doc, Mom, a nurse or two...)
I like to think that I'm my dad's favourite. Of course it's not true, but I like to think that anyway. When I think back to my childhood memories involving Dad, pretty much all of it involves sports in one way or another. I can remember watching the Red Wings year after year, knowing that our team would never really win the Cup... until they got good, and then we watched, waiting for them to finally do it. And then they did and we cheered and knew we had the best team in the world! I can also remember going to Tigers games with my Dad. He was often the Youth Group chauffeur so he would escort us to those couple of games that we went to. He accompanied us to Cedar Point and rode all the roller coasters with us. One of the things I remember doing as a young child was hearing that us girls would get to go to one of his hockey games! It was always fun to go watch him play pick-up hockey with The Guys.
Family vacations always involved being together as a family, once again being driven around by Dad. But he wasn't just our chauffeur. Dad was our family photographer. One of the great things about Dad is that he photographs life as it happens, documenting it for the rest of us to see, but he makes sure he gets in there too. He doesn't mind sharing his camera with others and letting them point and shoot. I love that my Dad loves to document life with his camera as it happens.
My Dad also cares very deeply about his faith. For as long as I've been around (and I'm certain much longer) he has defended what he believes in with vigor. He knows what he believes and why he believes it. That is a legacy that he has passed along to us girls. We have always been taught to know what we believe and why we believe it. Both of our parents have done a great job of passing that along to us.
My dad loves my mom. And everyone that knows them knows it! I've shared with many people over the years that I always felt secure about my parents' relationship because I saw them kissing or hugging frequently, right in front of us girls. Dad has never been ashamed to show the world, and especially us girls, how much he loves his wife. I love that about him!
My dad has a lot more time now and when he's around our family he can be very often found on the floor or on the couch, with a grand child on his lap or at his side. He loves to curl up with a grandkid and read books to them (or have them read to him.) He'll burrow his head into a baby belly and get the biggest laugh he can. He's really hitting his stride now and he's just getting better with age.
I have to be away from my dad this Sunday, which is pretty usual since we live hours apart. But I hope that he knows how much he is loved and appreciated for the way he loves his God, his wife, his girls, and our families. Happy Father's Day, Dad!