Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad!

Today, I wanted to wish a very Happy Birthday to my daddy! I had hoped to post this early this morning, but the girls had other plans for me. Anyway, Happy 65 Daddy. I sure do love you.

I am a Daddy's girl. I always have been and I guess I always will be. I look like him and I always took great pride in that. Through the years, random people would come up to me and say, "You must be Mickey Dean's daughter." I would always smile and say yes. This happened almost everywhere I went...Quail Walk Country Club, the Wetumpka Ball Park, at my dad's clothing store, at the grocery store, etc. I am 36 years old and it still happens. Not as often anymore, but it happens. I am also the only daughter with his crooked pinky fingers. I always liked that...and I passed that on to my daughter. I looked at her pinky fingers as soon as I held Gracen for the first time. One pinky finger is crooked, like mine, and one is straight like Gene's.

They say that a girl's relationship with her dad lays the groundwork for her future relationship with her husband and with God. That is so true! Today, I can definitely see that and I am thankful for the strong foundation that I was given.

I certainly had a blessed childhood. I had (and still have) a father who loved me unconditionally and made me feel special. My dad showed love through quality and quantity time. He was very present in my life, never putting work or anything else ahead of the family. He always played with me and my sisters, giving us time and attention. I can remember endless hours outside playing softball and being coached by my dad on multiply softball teams and later being cheered on as I played for my Jr. High and High school team. I can remember having a great time just playing in the yard, helping out in the huge garden, riding 4-wheelers, going with him to play golf and being ecstatic when he let me drive the golf cart, playing tennis at the country club, swimming in our pool, long walks up and down Nolen Lane, talks on the back porch swing, beach trips, Fourth of July cook-outs and fireworks, wonderful Christmas Eve's and Christmas mornings, etc. etc. etc. I could literally go on and on....and yes, my mom was just as instrumental in these important memories.

My dad showed me love by his humor, displaying a fun personality and silliness. All my friends loved him because he was just fun to be with. He made us all laugh with his quick wit and one liners. That sense of humor certainly embarrassed me too many times to count, but I wouldn't have had it any other way.

My dad was always full of encouragement. I was built up with many "That a girl" and "You can do it". He told me that I could do it and most of the time I believed him. He was always full of instruction as well. He listened and gave great advice. I still call him today when I have a question or I am just not sure what to do. He is the first one I call if we are trying to make a financial decision because he has a great head for business and I know he will not lead me astray. Today, I still listen to his advice on any subject and I honestly want to please him and my mom. It hurts me to know I have hurt them. How do you raise kids to think that way? I would like to know.

My dad was a great provider. I know my parents went through some real financial hardships because his clothing store basically went bankrupt when the big stores like TG&Y and then Wal-Mart came to Wetumpka. Despite the money troubles they must have had, I never knew it. I can remember always feeling blessed, always having my needs met. I remember wonderful Christmas mornings, getting things like a nice stereo system for my room, a 4-wheeler (a dream gift), and my own car. I had a gas card, even when I moved out during my college years...one of many ways Dad was always with me, providing for me. My parents provided everything I needed through the years, all the way through college and to my beautiful wedding day. Now I realize how they must have struggled, but that endless provision was one of the ways I was loved.

My dad showed loved by setting clear boundaries. I had a curfew and I knew not to break it. I knew the look that meant, "That is enough." I was taught to respect and obey...things very important in life, not only with other people but also in my relationship with my heavenly Father.

My dad showed love by the all important physical affirmation that comes through hugs and pats on the back. As I said before I felt loved and I felt respected. I knew how a man was suppose to treat a lady by how my dad treated my mom and how he treated us...his daughters. I expected to be treated the same way by the guys I dated and by the one I eventually married.

Trust is easy today. I trust Gene and I trust the love of my heavenly Father because I so easily trust my Daddy, the first man in my life. He modeled pure love for me and for that I am grateful.

Daddy, I am so thankful for you. I hope you had a wonderful birthday and have many, many more to come. I love you to the moon and back. (And Mom too)

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