Father’s Day Memories

Father’s Day Memories

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and the first day of our beach vacation. Father’s Day is such a special time for our family. It’s bittersweet, as we will be celebrating your 9th year as a dad, but it will also be the 6th Father’s Day without my own dad.

It will be a day of remembering. You will honor that time. You will let me remember, listening as I think about Daddy.

I will remember strength wrapped in gentleness. I’ll remember junking trips and flea markets. I’ll remember basketball and go-cart racing. I’ll remember the smallness of my hand in his larger one. I’ll remember his eyes, his smile, his laugh, and his arms, outstretched and ever ready to welcome me in. I’ll remember, “Well hey girl” and “I sure do love you.” I’ll remember hugs and kisses goodbye, and looking back in my rear view mirror, seeing him wave until I turned the corner, out of sight. I’ll remember blackberry cobbler and banana pudding, pinto beans and cornbread. I’ll remember uncomplicated faith and unwavering trust in Jesus. I’ll remember pick-up trucks and gospel music, roller-coasters and log-rides. I’ll remember flicking ears and practical jokes. I’ll remember being rescued in the broad daylight, the sound of his feet running to me, shot-gun ready, and knowing in that moment everything would be ok. I’ll remember being rescued in the night, picked up in Raleigh and driven home to the mountains, and knowing in that moment everything would be ok. I’ll remember being by his side as he took his last breath, telling him everything’s going to be ok. I’ll remember courage and humility and integrity and love. Yes, love, always love.

It will be a day of remembering Paw for Matthew and Mason. We’ll remember rides in the back of the truck. We’ll remember big breakfasts and J&S. We’ll remember yard sales and auctions. We’ll remember Rascal. We’ll remember sled rides on the trash can lid and trips to the park. We’ll remember, “what a fine boy” and “that’s good sugar.” We’ll remember visits and birthday parties and camping trips. We’ll remember love. Yes, love, always love.

After the memories, we’ll return to the present. The kids will take off towards the water with you, and I’ll watch. I’ll watch and I’ll remember.

I’ll remember you holding first Matthew, then Mason, their tiny newborn bodies swaddled and smelling so sweet. I’ll remember how both their cries stopped as they heard you talking to them. I’ll remember to tell them it was your voice which first calmed them, which first assured them, which comforted them in the way they have come to expect from their Daddy.

I’ll remember those first nights at home. I’ll remember you helping with every single part of it, the feedings, the diaper changes, the pure exhaustion and exhilaration of it all.

As I remember Daddy-daughter dances, Y-Guides, and Daddy date nights, I see some of the very traits of my dad in you now with our children. As I watch you play football, basketball, and soccer only to turn around and play hide-and-seek, chase, and Peter Rabbit,. I see you in it, doing this dad-thing with your whole heart. As I see you lead them in devotion and prayer, I see an uncomplicated faith, as pure and simple as my Dad’s. As I listen from the kitchen as you read books and pray and tuck them in, I see strength wrapped in gentleness. As I watch tears form in your eyes when you watch them sleep, peaceful and bigger somehow each time we check in on them, I see love. Yes, love, always love.

One day, our children will remember their Daddy, just as I remember mine each Father’s Day. One day they’ll remember “Buddy” and “Girlie.” They’ll remember bowling and Noodles and Company and putt-putt. They’ll remember shows and movies. They’ll remember Pirate Anna and ET. They’ll remember Space Mountain and Seven Dwarfs mine train, digging holes and sand castles on the beach, and Yogi Bear campgrounds. They’ll remember being tossed high into the air and splashing into the pool. They’ll remember hugs and kisses, fist-bumps and high fives. They’ll remember “I love you sweet girl,” and “I love you little buddy.” Yes, they’ll remember your love.

Always your love.

Happy Father’s Day to the two most important men in my life.

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