I went to a funeral the other day. A very good friend of mine lost her dad. Suddenly. Unexpectedly. He was 62. When I told her I was so very sorry for her loss and reminded her that I was there for her & told her that if she needed anything to just let me know, she response was simple and short. All she said was: thank you and hug your dad next time you get the chance.
And it made me start to think. I don’t just hug my dad every time I see him. Most times he pulls me in and makes me give him a hug as I am rushing through life. My dad makes it known every time he sees me (or my brother) that we are loved. Those hugs are important to him. I need to do better. And just pause. Take a moment to hug him and then go back to rushing around.
I am grateful for my Dad (and many other family members). Yes, he may drive me nuts from time to time, but he is my Dad and he has showed me and taught me many things throughout my life. He has taught me that family is important. Friends are important. And if you can, you should be there for family and friends in both good times and bad. He introduced me to all things Alabama. He (and my mom) have shown me what a respectful, solid, and good marriage looks like. He was an insanely active participant in my childhood, so I know that I will expect no less from Kyle. My dad has shown me (and continues to show me) that life is not just about me. That it is important to be generous with your time and to make people a priority if they’re important to you. And that sometimes those times are hard and trying and tiring, but it is the right thing to do and most times those situations are just temporary. I can think back on different times in my life where my Dad has set a good example for how you should live your life. Caring for an immediate family member, building churches, getting me out of trouble, opening his house to friends and family members pretty much whenever, donating his time and money, and just taking a genuine interest in people and their story – my dad may not find joy in each and every thing, but he understands what it means to be a good person and to live a good life.
With my friend’s dads unexpected passing it made me think. My Dad won’t be around forever. As morbid and sad it is to think that, it is the honest truth. But, I have been so lucky to have my Dad by my side for 31 years and counting. He is one of my biggest cheerleaders and advocates. Have there been times that I have let him down? Yes, probably too many to count. Have there been times where I tested his patience? Oh heck yes. But his love for me is unwavering (or at least I think it is) and at the end of the day I know I have impressed him and make him proud. And I am forever grateful that my little sassy firecracker has a Grand Bobby who simply adores her and loves her. And I know she brings him immense joy as well.
And, I still owe my Dad a hug. But I guess that will have to wait until we meet him in sunny Florida for a quick, easy vacation.