Thursday, June 18, 2009

Daddy's Hands

My (two or three) readers may (or may not) have noticed that I've missed my last couple Thinkbox Thursday posts. Oops! Truth be told I had a couple "post heavy" weeks where I either didn't want to inundate you (both) and scare you away by my incessant posting (which is both annoying and hard to keep up with!) or (as is probably most accurate), I was just plain sans inspiration.  I DID, however, pull a question from the thinkbox a couple weeks ago and since the question itself is so apropos to the upcoming celebration of our fathers this weekend, I felt compelled to finally follow through this week.

The question: What were your father's best traits?  His worst?  What traits do you share?

Oh, where do I start to describe the most fabulous man I know?  There's so much to say and so little time to express myself in so I will let Holly Dunn help me.  There's a song she sang on country radio called "Daddy's Hands".  This song has always had a special meaning to me.  I loved this song growing up.  I'd sing it (ok, YELL it) in the car on the way up North to my grandparents' house.  I even danced with my father to this song at my (first) wedding.  This is the perfect "story" of my father (at least to me).  The chorus reads (or is that "sings"?):

Daddy's hands, were soft and kind when I was cryin´.
Daddy´s hands, were hard as steel when I´d done wrong.
Daddy´s hands, weren´t always gentle 
But I´ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy´s hands.

My father is strong - Strong willed, strong tempered, strong minded, and strong armed.  He has strong opinions, strong convictions, strong values, and strong expectations.  It was this strength that taught me right from wrong, how to stand up for what I believe in (even if that's a battle I still fight), and how not to mess with him or my mother.  I learned respect, hard work, and pride from my father.

But as the song suggests, my father may have worked his butt off to give us the kind of life and childhood I wouldn't trade for the world but he was also soft and gentle when we needed him to be.  My father would whip out his belt when we talked back to our Mother and then turn around and give us a hug to say he was proud of us for a job well done.  He had a temper I would often cower from but was the first one I'd run to to share news of making the cheerleading squad.  I remember getting splinters from the old, worn wood floors in our house and sitting on his lap while he ever-so-gently pried the tiny sliver(s) of wood from my foot or hand with the beat-up, razor sharp jackknife he always carried in his pocket.  

My father is smart - highly intelligent, in fact.  I have always said my Dad is the smartest man on earth - a "walking encyclopedia".  When I was growing up and had an essay to write or a report to research for school, I'd ask him questions to clarify my assignment or ask him how to spell something and he'd always say, "Look it up".  He didn't want to make it easy for us so he encouraged us to find the answer rather than just provide it for us.  My father knows something about just about everything, though.  He's the kind of guy you'll find reading an atlas for fun.  Or studying a book on anatomy or candle-making or civil war strategy, just for the sake of learning something knew.

My father has an insanely sarcastic sense of humor.  I remember rolling my eyes at corny jokes he'd make.  I'd say, "Dad, can you make me a PB &J sandwich?".  To which he'd always respond, "Poof!  You're a PB & J sandwich!".  "Dad!", I'd groan.  Cheesy, I know, but I got that corny joke thing from him and have gone on to annoy plenty of my own friends with that sense of humor, I'm sure!  I find myself thinking in terms of corny comebacks and cheesy jokes and I DEFINITELY got the sarcastic thing from him!!!

Obviously my father's not 100% perfect by any means (just ask my Mother!  She's been married to him for 35 years and has earned the right to complain about one or two of his "quirks"!).  He can be somewhat aloof, sort of a modern day "absent-minded professor" but it's sweetly endearing.   He's a procrastinator (thanks, Dad!), he's a pack rat (yeah, thanks again, Dad!), and did I mention that temper thing (and again...thanks a heck of a lot for this one!)?  But he is still strong, smart, honest, fair, caring, understanding, funny, talented, charming, creative, ingenious, and hands down the best father I could ever have been blessed with!  

Thanks, Dad, for raising me up with good morals, strong values, and smart priorities.  Thank you for teaching me how to be stubborn, fight fair, and live honorably.  I am beyond lucky to have you in my life, completely honored to call you "Dad", and purely blessed to have you around to pass on your strength, knowledge, wisdom, and witty sarcasm to my children whom lovingly call you "Geempa".  I love you, Daddy! 


Tifkota said...

What a lovely tribute to your Daddy. LOVE it! It was nice to learn a little more about the quiet guy in the corner. And to learn more about what makes you, you. LOVE you!

PS- Happy Father's Day, Mr. Yousey!!!

Pam said...

Well, as I sit here crying...please, please print this and frame it as your dad's father's day gift!! There is nothing that could make a dad feel more amazing than the testimony of his daughter's love!! This is beautiful...and every bit of what I have experienced all these years as a Yousey surrogate!! It is Dad Yousey to a "t"!! This is so tender...he must have it!! Happy Father's Day, Dad Yousey!!

lilacchildrensgarden said...

Shana, I just popped on here from a little box on the side of my facebook page. I find your voice in these posts to be so real and genuine. I have read the most recent couple here and have learned a great deal about you. You have a knack for story telling.