I was 13 when he first took me out. I was excited and couldn’t wait to tell him about my day and just get to know him better. He was my Dad, and he was taking me out to dinner on our first a Daddy daughter date. I had never been out with him before and he was such a gentleman.
I remember how he opened the car door for me when I got in. And when we arrived at the restaurant, he insisted that I stay put until he walked over to my side of the car and opened the door so I could get out. He opened all the doors for me as we went inside, and even pulled out my chair for me when we sat down.
As we were looking over the menu, he asked what I wanted. And when the waiter came, my Daddy told the waiter what I would have, followed by his own order. He told me that I looked pretty. He asked about my day and what I was studying in school. I asked him about his work and what all he did. We talked and laughed and he made me feel very special.
And when we left, he opened all the doors for me once again. He gave me a hug and thanked for a accompanying him to a great dinner when we got home. And I smiled and thought no wonder Mom fell in love with him.
My father taught me how a man should treat me. He taught me that night and by the way he always treated my Mom – with kindness, respect and dignity (she demanded nothing less). I remember my Mom asking me how the dinner with him was that night, and her smiling and telling me that yes, that was just like my father.
Dad was kind and unassuming, humble and had more integrity in his little finger than most people possess in an entire lifetime. He was my hero, and always will be. And oh, how he loved my mother. Those 7 months he lived with me where hard, but the most precious gift as well. Spending that time with him was a gift. He was a gift.
My Dad’s birthday is coming up in just a few days, no doubt that is why he is on my mind. And I miss him so very much. Hard to believe that it has been 2.5 years since I last saw him or heard his voice, or held his hand. He would have been 83 this year.
My Daddy, my hero, my first love. The man who kept our family safe, who worked hard so we had whatever we wanted, and the man who loved my mother more than anything in the world. The man who just wanted me to pick up my shoes and not leave them in the middle of the floor. The man who wanted me to not put everything on the bottom shelf (as he called the floor), he man who wanted me to try not to be late all. of. the. time. And most of all, the man who loved me unconditionally, right up until the end.
Miss you Dad. Love you always. Thank you for everything.