...The most amazing man I know. My rock, my support, my spirit, MY higher power. He is THE reason for so much, not just me...Not JUST everything I am...Everything I've done and a lot of encouragement to others.
I know you know I love my dad. As I'm sure if you're reading this you too have a reason for loving him, whatever it may be. BUT, let me be selfish for a minute. Until my baby girl came along, and even since, I have debated whether ANYONE in the world could be as strong, selfless, reflective, unbiased, and wonderful a person as MY dad is and has always been. He is one of my two FAVORITE people in the world. Sure he's been an ass...who hasn't? He's guilty of human goofiness just like the rest of us. But, for me, the reality of it is that I can hardly find a childhood (or adulthood) memory without my Papa in it.
So, this is amazing considering I can't remember what day it is to save my life at this point...
Just me and my daddy: Since I can remember, Monday nights were always 'Murder She Wrote' with Dad and I at 8pm on a pea soup green, itchy couch, trying to figure out the fairly obvious mystery. We used to play games as to who could guess the culprit first and I was 4 or 5 years old :) Now, thanks to Netflix on Demand, we're back at it with endless seasons (12) 500+ episodes of the damn show :) It's silly fun.
Remember the Korean restaurant where O'Betty's is now? Well, that was where you could find Dad and I every Wednesday night. Eating Squid soup and trying the SUPER spicey pork to see who could eat the most slices. It was one of the tastiest things I've had in my life, so the burn was worth it!
Every other evening, if I hadn't already been with him showing houses or at Athens Realty answering phones (I was at most 7!) we would drive home, eat and then walk to the Front Room at the real...OOOps!...I mean old Baker Center, where we would split real....oops!...I mean the old time (FRESH) Crumb's cookies and he would let me drink cinnamon decaf coffee just like the rest of the cool grad students in the place (again-I was 7ish :). Then off to bowl downstairs at Baker...About once a week.
If we weren't at the Front Room, we were off driving around, yes-driving! Even me! Dad would take me on back roads to teach me how to drive even before I was allowed-lol. A concept I would never, in these days consider with Evie.
Most mornings we would go to Frisch's Big Boy (before it was gone of course) and I always got awesome pancakes w/ the works and bacon. Eventually, after Frisch's closed, we started frequenting Casa and have been there some 20+ years now for "church" and some.
I'm sure most of you know my parents were divorced when I was very young (5th grade) but Dad moved a block away from the home he and my mom lived in (mom still does) so that I could walk back and forth. There was never a custody battle, just respect for each other and me. Mom went through some tough times and I remember Dad, even after divorce, helping her out with the house, hiring people to fix things, etc. That's what family is for after all, right?
By middle school, I stayed with Dad mostly, but still only a block from Mom, and he would walk me to school every day even though I really could have walked myself. It was our chance to talk..reflect...joke like Chandlers do...Whatever. Well, actually, he would walk me to about a block away, give me a hug and let me go the rest of the way so I wasn't "embarrassed" by my dad (geesh).
I was a pain in the ass through my teenage years. I'm sure both of my parents thought I was trying to kill them. BUT, when it was time to really learn to drive (remember, years before I already had) I remember telling Dad that I wanted an automatic. OH NO! That was NOT how we learn to drive. If I wasn't willing to learn to drive a stick shift, I wasn't allowed to drive at all! Also, it was a requirement, by Dad, that I know how to change my own tires, oil and check the fluids in the car (no girly girl bullshit here!) So, I learned...I taught myself how to drive a stick out of sheer determination and boredom one summer. Eventually I went to racing cars in Florida (in adulthood/later in life) and will be forever thankful to my dad that I was able to because of him!
After I actually got my driver's license I was able to get to high school by myself. BUT, Dad was always the first one up, and, while I was showering/primping, he would turn on my car to warm it up. Every night when I got home he would put a piece of cardboard over the windshield to keep frost off. When I would go to get in my car to leave it was always warm, clean and had a glass of milk in the cupholder and a poptart or two on the console. God love my dad.