My dad is, without a doubt, the best man I’ve ever known. He’s always worked so hard, no matter what sort of adversity he’s had to face. I always know that no matter what I need, I can count on him.
When I was a kid, my dad was away from home quite a bit, working on the railroad. I would always be excited on the nights when he’d return home for the weekend. More often than not, he returned with something for me. Maybe that just made me spoiled, but I’ve always thought it simply meant that even if Dad wasn’t home, he was thinking of us. It might have been a mermaid doll that floated on a lily pad, a beef stick that was eight feet long, or a new Barbie doll, but he always took the time to make us feel loved and special.
In the summer when we were younger, we would travel to Cincinnati for Reds games. It was always Reds vs. Braves. My dad hates the Braves, but he’d take us because my brother and I were fans. One summer, he drove us to Pittsburgh to see them play the Pirates. Of course, I think he probably enjoyed that game because the Braves lost by a large margin.
I remember sitting at the dining room table with my dad and my uncle when I was little, watching them sort through the baseball cards they collected. As they opened the packs of cards, the sticks of gum and cards they didn’t need were mine. I think this is likely how my love of baseball began.
I’m certain my love of history and politics comes from my dad. We drive my mother crazy with the incessant need to watch the news or the History Channel. I love talking with Dad about what’s going on in the world. We don’t always agree on things, but he’ll always listen when I want to rant and rave about the things that annoy me. If I ever want to watch a movie about the military or history, I always watch with him. (We’re watching American Sniper this evening.)
We went to Gettysburg one summer and decided to do the 2-hour driving tour. It took us the whole day to get through and we were rushing at the end, trying to see as much as we could before dark. When it comes to US History, my dad has an incredible wealth of knowledge. I learned so much on that trip.
A few years ago, I won a trip to Montana and was able to bring a guest. My dad was the obvious choice. He’s always wanted to go west. It was a nice trip and a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with my dad. We got to take part in an archery course, see the Rocky Mountains, and go ice fishing. I am so thankful I got to spend those few days with him, even though he missed out on much of the wildlife he’d been so excited to see.
Dad has always loved the outdoors and passed that along to his children. In summer, we would spend a lot of time fishing. We’d walk in the woods behind the family cabin in West Virginia. I even went hunting once. I’m sure my dad is grateful that’s a hobby I didn’t stick with, as I was likely more of a nuisance than anything else. My dad still spends tons of time outdoors, though he now prefers a camper with air conditioning instead of a tent.
My dad has such an incredible love for his family, but especially for my mother. I often say that I will probably never get married because I want someone that will love and cherish me as my father does my mother. That seems so rare these days. I’m so grateful for the wonderful example my father has set. No matter what life has in store, I’ll always be a daddy’s girl.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad. I love you and I hope you have a fantastic day!