He didn’t tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it. ~Clarence Budington Kelland
Last weekend, the Boy came to town and it was such a great weekend. Well, more than a weekend. He came in Tuesday night, we went on a roadtrip to Chicago to see family, a great concert, and best of all was that he didn’t have to go home the very next day.
Friday afternoon, when I got back from my internship, the Boy and his family met me at my apartment and we made our way up to his family’s house for the weekend. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I count it as such a blessing that I not only have met an amazing man but bonus…his family is fantastic and I love them to pieces.
We had a blast with them this past weekend. We hung out, laughed, lounged on the porch, went to the farmers market…but one of the coolest things to me was an event we went to Saturday night…
You see, Saturday night, we went to a benefit at the fairgrounds for Sargent Dulle, a Warren County officer who was killed in the line of duty. It was one of those events where you know you should be sad but you simply can’t because you look around and are amazed at the immense and intense outpouring of love and support from everyone in the room.
It was at the fairgrounds, and it was a beautiful night. Officers and their families, firefighters, and hundreds from the community came to show their support. It was truly beautiful to see a community come together.
What was really interesting for me was to watch the Boy’s family. The Boy’s dad is on the force and has been for a number of years in many capacities. When we walked in, familiar faces came up to shake his hand and marvel at how his Boy had grown, because you see they remember when he was a little boy playing around the office and coming to see dad. There were smiles, hugs, new stories to be shared, and old stories to be remembered.
As all of this was going on around me, I kept thinking about how the Boy’s dad would always say that he’s always wanted better for his boys. He wants them to go on to do better and be better than what he was. And I think all parents want that for their kids.
But you see, as I was standing there watching what was going on around me, and thinking about all the things I’ve learned from and about my dad, I’m not sure if there is better success.
These men set the bar high. Success, as I am beginning to understand it from these men, is measured in relationships. It is measured in experience and in giving of yourself.
When I think of dad I think of Haagen-Dazs ice cream as likely one of my first solid foods. I think of rolling in the leaves at Jonquil and sitting in his grip by the window looking at the stars and listening to Pirates games. I think of laughing till my belly hurts, more John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart movies than I could ever try to remember and drawing on legal pads in his office. I think of Bruce Springsteen music being played in the basement and rocking me to sleep while he sang Brown Eyed Girl. I think of card games, ok, him beating me at card games, late night road trips to Michigan and him falling asleep with a book in his hands.
But beyond those memories, I think of the example he’s set. Always forgive. Never be to proud to say you’re sorry. Love unconditionally. Be generous and help whoever comes your way. Listen. Be patient. Always be curious and never stop learning. Sometimes what needs to be said is not what is easiest to be heard. Say your please and thank you’s. Believe in and support those around you. Family comes first. Always work hard and do your best. And find your passion.
The thing is, your parents always want you to do better than they did. But the older I get and the more I learn about and from my parents, in this case my dad, the more I am so proud to be their daughter and think that if I could simply be half the amazing person my dad is…I will have done alright!
I love you dad. Thank you for leading by example, for always loving me and supporting me no matter what. Thank you for encouraging me to be the best person I can.
Dad, you are my hero and I am so glad you are in my life. Thank you for your wisdom, and thank you for being the best example a girl can have of a loving man, father and husband.
Happy Father’s Day!