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Dad always had time for his little girl

Published 5:30am Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sunday is Fathers Day – a day intended to celebrate what our fathers mean or have meant to us in our lives. Words can never adequately express my feelings for my own dad and the boundless admiration I have for him.
My father’s example taught me much of what I believe about life. Among the lessons I learned were: actions really do speak louder than words, true generosity has little or nothing to do with money, it’s OK to admit you don’t know something as long as you’re willing to learn, a person’s worth can’t be measured by their social status or wealth, always try to do your best at whatever task you undertake … the list is endless.
As far back as I can remember, my dad always had time for me. When I was a small child, no matter how tired he was after working long hours, he willingly sat down to draw pictures with me or help with anything else I was passionate about at the time.
He taught me how to ride a bike and shoot a gun. When we were around folks who had horses, he let me perch on the saddle in front of him. He took me to the bait shop so I could turn in soda bottles for the deposit and to sell the catalpa worms I’d captured.
Dad was always willing to haul a bunch of silly, giggling little girls in his truck to wherever it was we wanted to go. On fall Saturdays the two of us sat in that same truck and listened to Alabama football games on the radio.
When I became a teenager, he graciously and wisely gave me space. But he (and my mom) were also smart enough to offer weekend cookouts for me and my friends and keep a low profile themselves so they could unobtrusively keep an eye on us.
My dad didn’t yell or fuss at me when I did something particularly stupid – as young people are prone to do. For instance, one day my best friend and I decided to drive to Auburn on a whim (nobody would ever know, right?). Of course, my car broke down.
There were no cell phones in those days, so after finding a pay phone I had no choice but to call my dad to ride to our rescue. And, of course, he did. He calmly explained to us the many reasons it was a bad idea to venture off without anyone knowing where we were going.
Dad always treated me and my friends as thinking people who would respond better to a reasonable explanation of a situation than to an unsupported order. The worst punishment I ever received from him was the few times he said he was disappointed by a decision I’d made or an action I’d taken.
I can’t begin to list the things he’s done for me since I became an adult – or the things he’s done for my children.
Most recently, with Larry out of commission in some ways, my dad is often doing thoughtful stuff to help out. He brings meals to us a couple of times a week. And, he drops by occasionally and mows some grass or does a little weedeating. Sometimes he simply comes to visit Larry and keep him company for a little while when I’m at work. There it is, that actions speak louder than words thing – my dad is a master of it.
Happy Fathers Day – I love you, Dad.
Until next week …

Peggy Blackburn is managing editor of The Wetumpka Her­ald and Elmore County Weekend. She can be reached at 334-567-7811. Her email address is peggy.blackburn@TheWetumpkaHerald.com.

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