I don't know how guys feel about their dads. I imagine it's complicated. At least it seems to be for the men in my family.
But for girls, or for me at least, it's a simple love. Straightforward. Not-complicated.
He loves me and I love him right back.
He was my go-to guy.
If I needed something fixed, if I needed to borrow money, if I needed a ride, a babysitter, a hammer, a male perspective ... I could count on my dad. He never was unavailable. He never said no.
He believed in me - he believed that I could do anything I set my mind to.
He thought I was beautiful when I had my make up on.
He thought I was smart.
He thought I was good.
And he loved my kids.
He loved them totally and completely and imperfectly and wholeheartedly. And he was exactly what three grandsons would want in a grandfather.
(It just occurred to me that I'm writing this in past tense. Why? Even though he's incapacitated in many ways, he still loves me. Loves us. I know this. And he probably still thinks I look good when I've got makeup on. He still thinks I'm smart, good, capable. He still loves my boys. He sits in his chair, watching Johnny Cash or Michael Douglas, waiting for us to pay attention to him.
Maybe I'm writing in past tense because now his love is totally different than before. Before it was all about doing. I knew he loved me because of all the things he could do for me. Now? Now I know he loves me because he tells me he does. And it's enough.
It's all he's got.)
Happy Father's Day dad.
And thanks mom. Thanks for sacrificially pouring yourself into caring for him.
He was a good dad to us, because you allowed him to be. You encouraged and supported his decisions that put us first. You never complained when he spent money on go-carts, dirt bikes, car loans, barns, dinners out, trampolines, holidays, parties. You never complained when he spent time away from you, helping me clean up cat vomit, mouse crap, stinky diapers, broken toilets, leaking dishwashers ...
Mom? He was a good dad because you rocked as his wife.