My dad hero would enter a room quietly and humbly. He wouldn't initiate loud responses or garner attention for himself. Rather, his presence would slowly fill a room with gentle, calm reassurance. And then of course, he’d start doing some gentle teasing and joking!
Growing up, my dad worked hard to provide for my family. He and his brothers lost their dad to cancer when he was only 12 years old. But they worked hard to keep the family heritage, farming the fields that would produce many crops over the years. Whether wind, rain, sleet, or snow, he would venture out into the elements and farm the land that his prior generations had farmed. He never complained, but rather he just worked hard and with great diligence.
I realize now, as a parent myself, how hard it may have felt to be a father, without having one in his own life for so many years. It makes me value even more the true gift he has been as my dad hero.
He attended my school activities and supported in numerous ways. I remember figuring out at some point in high school that money was kind of tight, but I never felt like we were lacking for anything. I guess what money couldn't buy, love made up for!
I know there were many years we didn't even have a TV, but we still didn't feel the loss. Instead, we played a lot of family games and read books together. I remember my dad even reading The Call of the Wild with me, just him and I.
In my early adult years, I had the heartache and pain of leaving a terribly abusive relationship. I can't imagine how it tore him up to watch. Through it all, he remained a steady, consistent, and calming force. I remember some of my darkest days having him by my side and though I doubted if I could do it...I knew he would be there to help me. He was my rock.
One of the things I value most about my dad is his strong and steady. Each morning for as long as I can remember, he starts his day praying and reading his Bible. Through the toughest of times, his faith was unwavering. Oh, the hours he has spent at that table, lovingly remembering all who needed prayer.
With each of my seven children, he was at the hospital, waiting and praying during delivery. He was there, eager to hold that tiny little one for the first time. And each time, he’d look me in the eyes with a tear in his own and say, “I’m so proud of you!” What a gift!
I’ve grown to realize that no matter how old I get, a girl still “needs” her dad! He provides insight, wisdom, prayer, support, and some fun memories helping me seek my dreams. I feel incredibly blessed to have such wonderful parents. And I know that when God was giving out dads, I got the best...a true hero!
Watching my dad impart some of his wonderful character traits by what he models for my children is a true gift. He invests in my life, my husband's life, and the life of my children, and I truly value that. He spends time with us and makes lots of special memories with us. I hope I can be a fraction of the hero has been to me, to my own kids. His love, faith, reassurance, and strength will be cherished forever. I can't imagine not having him in my life. He is a true Dad Hero!
I love you Dad! XO
This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.