My dad’s birthday was Sunday. He is a word’s man – good words mean more to him than basically anything else he could receive. And that is one way I am just like him.
So I wanted to write a really nice card or letter, and I even knew in general what I wanted to say. But I couldn’t really write it.
Even since then I’ve tried. I just want to choose the right words. To not be cheesy. To let the power of what I am feeling come through.
It’s three full days since his birthday and I had sudden inspiration to put down my words, but on this blog.
This song by Joe Pug [below] just came on my Last.fm and it reminds me of Dad. Something about the harmonica, cadence, simplicity, and honest lyrics that represent our duality…[Hit play on the song now, while you read this.]
Dad instilled in me an appreciation for music; I cherish memories of him playing guitar. I admire his calm spirit, his honesty in all things and situations, his faith, his consistency and dedication to family above all, the good and the bad times; his wisdom, his silly jokes, the little things he gets excited about, his love for nature, and the acts – little and small – he does to show his love.
And it is one of those acts of love that is most on my heart lately. About three months ago, I left my hometown after a fun weekend of celebration a best friend’s marriage, and an unfortunate conflict with my family. About 30 miles out of town back to KC, a deer hit and totaled my car.
I called Dad immediately, and he asked if I was ok. I was. He came to get me, and said he’s just as soon drive me to KC that night. We talked the whole two and a half hour drive, which I couldn’t remember the last time we did that. It was really nice.
The next few months, I looked for another car. Some truly generous friends lent me a spare they had for as long as I needed it in the meantime. And thankfully, Dad enjoyed this process and would often look up cars and send me links to potentials. We both had ups and downs with ones we thought were promising, made calls, and he would advise me from the phone each time I went to look at one.
We had both almost reached a burn out point. Work and life was busy, and I was exhausted, needing a break from the process. But Dad found one that looked to be the best yet, in Chicago. He began to pursue it for me.
A few days later, he was in Kansas City to stay the night so I could drive him to the airport the next morning for his flight to get the car in Chicago. He was excited for his adventure. We laughed as I gave him the thousands in cash I took out at the bank, which he had rolled in rubber bands and stashed in his pockets. Yikes!
We talked several times the next day as he drove the car and worked out the deal. Later that day he had it on the road, taking it to visit Granny and Papa in Memphis. The next week I was to drive his car home to make the swap :)
Last week, when I got home, he had cleaned it to sparkle – it looked amazing. And he had made “Erin’s Integra Mix” that he had waiting for me in the CD player. It turns out that it had even needed some work at the shop that he had gone ahead and taken care of.
I love it. And I especially love the story behind it. I am so lucky to have a father that would do all this for me, happily and without hesitation. He raised a strong, independent woman, and often it is hard for me to accept or ask for help. But in this way, I never even needed to ask – he was there. What a weight off to know he was and is actively taking care of me.
I wanted to tell him how much this means to me. Because above it all, this one example mirrors perfectly and completely the love and lengths our Heavenly Father goes to for each of us. How He delights in taking care of us, preparing things go us, taking an active role in our lives…how He is thinking of us, wants us to let Him take care of us all, individually and uniquely based on his special relationship with us.
So Dad :) Thank you. Thank you for everything do and have done, that I know about and have never known. Thank you for the great father you are, and for showing me God’s love and desire and delight in my life. This memory and example is one I will always cherish when I think of you.
I love you! Happy Birthday :)