Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Hero = My Dad!

Just to be upfront - this post has nothing to do with running.  Feel free to check back tomorrow with some fun updates with my new Garmin!  heads up: this is gunna get sappy :)

I just have to tell everyone how much I love my Dad.  He is the nicest, most thoughtful, genuine, knowledgeable, and friendly human being I know.  There isn't anything he wouldn't do for another person, whether he knows them of not.  He has always been this way and I'm still amazed at what a big heart he has. 
Daddy and me our our favorite home-town clown, Rosco!
Coming home from a bbq with my husband's family today, I called my parent's house and was able to catch up with my dad for 86 minutes!  It was amazing.  It's not that my dad I don't talk normally - we've always had an amazing relationship, but it's my mom I talk to most.  She's the chatterbox, filling us in on the family details.  It's simply that my dad doesn't typically get a chance to get a word in.  
Daddy Christmas 07 - he's the life of the party with this light up, singing, moving hat!
I chatted with my mom for a few minutes, returning her call from earlier today then she had to hit the road to go see her dad in the hospital (everything will be fine).  After that, I had a car question for dad.  He's always been really handy, whether it's around the house or something with the car; ask him and my dad will have the answer.  We've always had used cars and dad knows what to do to tinker with them, so he's the first one to call.  

Once we got that squared away (and of course he had the answer) we just chatted for over an hour.  It's amazing how time flew by.  It was like talking with one of your girlfriends in 6th grade when your parents finally let you use the phone (yes, it really was like that in our house).  Everything from cars, health, our jobs to medicine, doctors, death, wills...  As crazy as that sounds, it was natural and I'm glad we are able to be that comfortable talking about those things.
Dad and my oldest sister March 2007
My mom's dad is going through some health issues which is how these topics come up - we're not that weird talking about such morbid things.  My dad turned 65 this year and is trucking around like he owns the place.  He has no plans of ever retiring as he'd be too bored.  Working will allow him to help others and keep him "around longer" as he puts it.  He told me today that he wants to donate his body to science to help others.  "What good is it to put it in the ground; I'm sure schools need more bodies to study."   This is just funny as my dad works for our cemetery. 
I love this guy!
It is so hard to put into words how caring my dad really is.  He's been there through thick and thin with my Uncle - my mom's cousin and my dad's best friend - and I completely admire him for it.  He is the guy that steps up when someone just needs to talk, or ramble on and on, while at home, or in the hospital.  Dad is just that kind of a person that will jump into action, even when most of the time it's not even his family.   He's nice and would do anything for anyone.
Daddy and me Paul's Wedding June 2009

He practices what he teaches us, leading by example.  He helps out whenever needed.  Jumps at the chance really.  From volunteering at our small private school not only while we were growing up, but even after all three of us were out of the school.  He is just such a kind  person.  I can't get over how selfless he is.  He volunteers at our small town's turkey day parade and in his first year doing it, found more volunteers for the parade than all other coordinators.  He throws his heart into all that he does and takes pride in it.  I'm glad he instilled that in my sisters and me. 
Dad as "Sister Mary George Margerita" part of a fundraiser for the church/school
Dad was part of a new dad's club in our high school, part of boosters in grade school and high school.  Started volunteering with our local soap box derby years ago and now is essentially 2nd in command.  Dad devotes 1000s of hours to the race because he knows how much joy it brings to the kids that participate.  It would be rare to go into our parents' basement and not see at least 3 race cars at any given time. 
Always happy and with a smile!  Danielle & Mario's wedding October 2008
In conversations with him over the years, he's very honest yet comforting.  He knows what's best and knows how to explain it to you.  Now, it's not like we spent hours together each day growing up.  He's more of the laid back in the background kinda guy, but his presence is known.  In grade school when I wanted to join an AAU travel basketball team, he bought a car, termed it 'the sports' car just to take me to practice and games so he didn't have to drive his work van.  Daddy and I spent a lot of weekends together in the sports car going to tournaments all over Michigan.  I'm sure I didn't say it then, or probably even realize it, but I LOVED that time we had together, just him and I.

When I turned 16 and the sports car became mine, I was thrilled!  Mind you, it was a Buick Park Avenue, not what most people consider a 'sports car' but that's what it will always be to me.  Dad and I had so many fun memories in that car, I was thrilled to make it mine.
Halloween Party 08
After college when I was ready to move in with my then-boyfriend (now-husband), half way across the country, I was so nervous to talk to my parents about it.  Granted, I was 22 years old, but still wanted to 'ask' my parents and get their approval.  A move from MI to Louisiana was huge.  AND to live with a boy.  That's a big deal in our house.  

I played the conversation out a million times in my head before it actually happened.  I wasn't sure what was going to come out of it, but I wasn't moving to LA without my parents' approval.  Sitting at the kitchen table, where all serious conversations took place, I asked/blurted out: "I'm thinking of moving to Louisiana to be with Pat, what do you guys think?"  Right in step my dad answered (and before my mom said anything, which is hard to do), "Oh, we love Pat!"  I couldn't have been more relieved.  They were 100% supportive.  I'm not sure I've ever told my dad how important those 4 words were at that exact moment, but I still remember exactly how he said them. 
Let's put the 63 year old on the ladder on the steps of our new house, real nice!
My dad is as friendly as can be.  He was born in Ireland, moved to England with his family and then the US when he turned 18.  He met my mom on a bowling league in Chicago and moved back to her hometown to help raise her siblings when her mom passed away at a young age.  My parents were 21 and 25 at the time.  What a dedicated, supportive husband!!
Daddy and Me May 2010
My dad is just a great guy with solid morals.  He and my mom have been married almost 40 years and they lead by example.  When anyone needs help, George & Norma are there for you.  My sisters and I know that, as well as all of my aunts and uncles, and all family and friends.  They are the rock that keeps our family together.  
My parents at our friends' wedding - they were married the longest of all attendees
I am so thankful that I have such amazing parents that lead such a great example for Pat and I; I couldn't imagine life any other way.  It's not his birthday, or even that close to father's day, but after our phone call today, I can't get it out of my head how amazing my dad is and I have to get it out and share it with all of you.  I hope that someday if Pat and I are blessed with a little boy that he is half as amazing as his Papa.  

I love you, Daddy!


  1. What an awesome, heartfelt post! I love the "sports car" thing, pretty cool that he bought the car solely for you and then it was yours. Nice. Your dad really does sound like a great man.

  2. Cool post and great story about the relationship that you and your dad have had over the years.