My father is the ultimate gentleman. He is the jolliest, wisest, most generous, fashionable, and huggable man I know. Really, he's like Santa, except Santa is nowhere near as stylish as my dad.
A couple weeks ago, I went shopping with my parents and as we wandered in different directions, my mother came up to me and asked, "Where's your dad?" I looked up and around briefly, and I said, "Don't you see that bright orange dot over there?" I started laughing, because my dad is a large man, who loves to where bright colors. At 6'1" and a big round belly, it's difficult to miss him, especially when he is wearing a neon orange shirt. More endearing about this image, was that there he was, just happily walking around in his bright colors, looking at suits and jackets much like a kid in a candy store. There is no doubt I get my love for colors and fashion from him.
Growing up, my father traveled a lot for work. As a kid, you don't really have a sense of time, so I don't remember for what periods of time he was gone. I remember he missed one of my brother's birthdays, and I felt really sad so we tried to make it as special as possible. However, even though he missed that one birthday, he made it to every basketball, soccer game, and boy scout outing. He also made it to all my shows and competitions. In elementary school he was always there on Father's Day to celebrate and accept the hand-crafted gifts we made in class. I once made him a paper cup out of origami and he asked if he could drink out of it. I thought sure, why not? It is a cup after all. I think knowing it probably wasn't going to work, he poured water into it anyways, and drank from it as the water seeped through the paper and got him all wet. It was really funny and we both laughed hysterically.
When I think back on it, I don't know how he was able to be such a present father, knowing how busy his work schedule was. I guess that goes to show that even when he was gone, he was present; and when he was present, he was very much present. So, we only remember him throwing us into the pool, and playing whale. We only remember him making the best grilled cheeses, and carving derby cars. We only remember going shopping to choose a new purse for my mom for each of her birthdays.
Not only is he an incredible father, he's an incredible man, too. The stories I hear about when he used to court my mom formed an image of a gentleman in my mind. He always walked her home after work if she got off late, and if he couldn't make it because he had class, he would make his older brother do it. He is always very generous and caring. He takes care of everyone and makes sure everyone feels loved. One time when Chris and I were visiting, he started measuring Chris' shoe size and getting his proper shirt size, so that he could buy Chris clothes whenever he sees something he thinks will suit Chris. He makes everyone laugh, and we always enjoy good food together. He's an incredible cook, I might add.
I am incredibly proud to be my father's daughter, and grateful that I have such an example of a gentleman and outstanding human being to learn from and constantly be inspired by.
I love you old man!
GINORMOUS HUGS & LOVE TO YOU!!!