Day 392: Daddy and Me

Rachel, Day by Day

Daddy and me on a cruise

Life Lessons from Dad
Happy Father’s Day, everyone. I know I didn’t take this photo above, but I’d like to dedicate this post to my wonderful dad. I haven’t talked about or written about him in a while, so I think it’s time. For those of you who don’t know, my dad died almost nine years ago now, when I was 16 years old. He had cancer, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through. He was a great guy and everyone loved to be around him. It’s sad to think that I haven’t celebrated Father’s Day with him for almost a decade.

Now, as an adult, I understand all that he tried teaching me while growing up. I’ll continue to keep his life lessons with me as I get older, too. There are so many reasons how I knew my dad loved me and what made him my role model. Here are a few for you.

Family man and loving. My dad wanted to get together with family all of the time, which is why I feel so close to my family members now. He always invited my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins over whenever we had free time. We went on many amazing vacations together; he really loved traveling. He was very devoted to us and made us his number one priority. Family is still and will always be my number one priority, too. He was also one of the most loving men I’ve ever met in my life. He always made sure to kiss me goodnight, tuck me into bed, and tell me how much he loved me. He always wanted a goodbye kiss in the morning before I left for school and I can still smell the coffee on his breath. Ray and I would run to him right when he got home from work to give him a hug and kiss. He’d get upset if we didn’t do that, even in high school. He always made me feel loved. Here’s an e-mail he sent to me that I still have saved: “Thank you for your e-mail, I hope you do good in tennis. I’ll be going to Ray’s game and I’m glad you and mom are going because I love it when we are together as a family. See you later and I love you. Dad”

Worrier. Growing up, especially in my teen years, I would get annoyed at the fact that my dad needed to know exactly where I was going and call him multiple times at night. I had to call when I got somewhere or if friends and I decided to go to another place not according to plan. But, it just meant that he worried about my safety and wanted me to be careful. If you are a good parent, then you are a worrier. And my dad was a great parent. I remember when he met my high school boyfriend for the first time. My dad sat next to me on the couch and rubbed my hair as he questioned my boyfriend. I was so embarrassed at the time, but he just did it to intimidate him and make sure he was a good guy who would treat me right. So, I was annoyed then, but now I know my dad did it because he cared for and loved me.

Lecturer/storyteller/hard worker. My dad loved telling stories of his past, both funny and serious. He had a way of making every story very interesting, even though he’d drag them out a bit. I always wished I got to see what he was like as a young boy from hearing his stories. He was also known for his lectures, and was very straightforward and honest about things. One of his favorite topics stand out to me to this day and is still drilled in my head: go to college. He probably started lecturing me about this in elementary school. He never got to go to college, so he drilled into my head that we all need a good education to get somewhere in life. He always used to say he just got lucky. I knew he was a very hard worker and earned his way up to a great career. I used to roll my eyes at that lecture, but now being a college graduate, I know it has helped me get where I am at my job today. I hope to be as hard of a worker as he was. One of the hardest days for me was my college graduation and not seeing him there. The strange thing was that I felt him there as I walked to my seat in my cap and gown. It was a happy feeling, but it made me miss him. It made me cry.

Jokester. My dad loved to joke around with family and friends. He definitely had a silly side to him that I loved to see. He knew how to make me laugh, by singing, dancing, or doing something completely random. We even had our own special silly dance that I haven’t done in years. One night stands out to me when we were playing a card game with my mom, brother, aunt and uncle. I still don’t remember what happened or what was said, but my dad laughed hysterically for a really long time and started crying from laughing so hard. These moments make me smile. And laughter is the key to happiness.

Sporty. My dad loved to watch sports and play sports. Growing up, he’d play soccer and basketball with me and Ray outside, and we even came up with our own little hockey and soccer games inside. He tried playing tennis with me one time even though we both weren’t that good at the time. I remember being excited as a little kid when he’d want to play something. These probably were my happiest times growing up. I would have rather kicked a ball around with my dad than play with dolls by myself. He loved any kind of card or board game, too, and my family and I still play games to this day. I always loved family game nights, and still do. It brings us closer together. I hope to play with my kids someday like he did with me and my brother.

It’s funny looking at these traits he possessed, because they remind me of myself in a way, too. I am who I am today because of him. He taught me more than I thought. I know he’d be really proud of me right now. I have all of our wonderful memories together locked away in my heart forever. Some people will never have that close relationship that I had with my father, and that makes me very lucky. So, give your dad a big hug and kiss today. Tell him how much you love him and say it as much as you can. I wish I could.

I know this is long already, but I want to give a shout-out to my wonderful grandpa. He has been a father figure to me all of these years and is such a wonderful person. He is so caring and loving, and I am blessed to have him in my life. Thank you for all that you’ve done for me, Grandpa! I love you!



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