Sunday, June 17, 2012

My Dad - My Hero

My parents several years ago at Yellow Stone
When we start out in the world we look up at everything.
I have an incident cemented in my mind.  One that now makes us chuckle when it is remembered.

I remember standing in a dimly lit kitchen  at bed time, just prior to Easter.  My mother had been dying Easter Eggs with us and had returned the dye to the refrigerator for the night.  My dad came into the kitchen reached into the refrigerator and began to drink from a brown glass.
I remember standing there by the light of the refrigerator in horror as my Dad mistakenly drank deeply from the glass of Easter Egg dye.  From my small vantage point, the moment was engraved on my memory.  The shock of the moment and the shock of his reaction to the vinegar and dye that he had just consumed while expecting the sweetness of his soda caused that memory to stay with me.  I have that image of him, tall in my mind.

When I was little my Dad was my teacher and my protector.  I knew I was safe when he was around.
One summer when I was under 10 he decided it was time for me to learn to water ski.  His good friend was in the boat and he was in the water with me.  I remember him standing there with me reminding me to keep the tips of my skis together and keep the rope between my skis.  And then he would tell Dick to hit it.  And as the rope tightened he would thrust me out of the water into a standing position, all the while shouting reminders.  "Stand up, keep your skis together, hang on."  Inevitably I would forget something that I needed to do and I would sink back into the water.  Dick would patiently circle back around and get into position to  and we would try again.  My Dad would go through the steps again and remind me what I needed to do.  I got better, and then I got up, I did it with his help.  Then being nervous and inexperienced I would bend my knees too much or lean too far forward and end up in the water again.  My Dad did not give up.  Pretty soon I was successful.   I got to fly!  I'll never forget that feeling.
My Dad did not really have to teach me to ski.  He could have left me to paddle around in the blow up raft, or ride on a tube.  But, he wanted me to feel the freedom of skiing.

As I grew I watched my Dad face the Lions that we face in this world.  He set a great example to for us.  Even when life was scarey he would form a plan and get to the task at hand.
My Dad is a Macgyver at heart.  My Dad taught me not to be afraid to try things.  My Dad is known for his wide skill set.  He taught us to try.  If something does not work the first time, learn from it and try again.  I am pleased to tell you, though I am his daughter and not a son, I am a chip off of the old block.  And I'm proud of it.   

A couple of years ago my Dad's health had gotten bad.  He faced some scarey surgery.  The thing none of us knew is that surgery would eventually save his life.  My Dad was real sick after that abdominal surgery.  He did not heal well.  He and my Mom landed at the E.R. one day to get the post-op infection he had checked out and treated.  When the tests came back the results were grim. They discovered my Dad had kidney cancer.  The scan  that was done for another reason had picked it up.  Though it was silent and symptom free he was still in great danger.  He was told he would have gone on until it was likely too late before it would have been detected.  We were so blessed.  So, it was back to surgery for my Dad.  He had not yet bounced back from the first surgery and he had to go again.  The kidney was so enlarged that it had to come out in two pieces.  My Dad really faced his mortality that year. 

My Dad after Cancer

I am so glad my Dad is still around.  My Dad has set such a great example for me and for those around him.  He came into the world and even though the chips have been down at times he has kept going.  My Dad has stood up in the face of great trials and has become something amazing!  He does so much good in the world.  My Dad is a great mentor and friend.  And he has given many a young man that, "What every boy needs to know to be a man," talk.  My Dad is amazing.  My Dad stand for what is right and he does not quit.

Now that I am the one who seems tall as I stand in my kitchen with my children, I am so thankful for the example my Dad has set.  My Dad has not given up when things seemed impossible.  My Dad has overcome tragedy with triumph.  And now, though I am only a few inches shorter than my Dad, he stands tall in my eyes.

Thanks Dad, I will always love you!


  1. Great tribute to your dad! He sounds like a great guy. Have a good one.

  2. Really beautiful, Cheryl. Hug your dad tightly today. I wish mine was still here to do the same.