Remember when I told you I would have to get creative with some of the letters of the alphabet?
Well, “F” is Father.
Dad, you are silly, encouraging, godly and loyal.
I mean, just look at this picture I discovered on the disposable camera’s from my wedding? Haha! So my Dad.
I never knew how hard it must have been for you to be a parent out there in the bush of Africa. I never understood until I became a parent myself. And then it all made sense. The fact that you loved Daniel and I, you raised us to obey you and Mom, to respect everyone, to follow our dreams, to work hard and not give up. And the way that you did all that in 110+ degree heat without much of an immediate support system around you. What an incredible Dad you are.
You’ve always been hilarious and fun. At least, everything was hilarious until we grew up….now it’s just embarrassing. Just kidding. I’ve never known someone who hasn’t found you thoughtful and encouraging, and you are always ready to make someone laugh!
I somehow got through high school with your help and with our relationship intact. I particularly remember crying over math and French, and always having you help me through it all long after I had given up. You were able to help me and encourage me in a way that nobody else could. When someone else said, “You can do it”, all I could hear was that they were feeling sorry for me, and just saying that to be polite. But when I hear you say “You can do it”, it carries so much more weight, because I know that you believe in me and will help me achieve that.
I’ve always enjoyed doing projects with you. I remember growing up Sunday afternoons were always project days, and that meant Daniel and I got to work with you on stamps or wood carvings or paintings. It’s still one of my favorite ways to spend quality time!
This picture is probably one of my favorites of us. It was right before my wedding ceremony started, and we were both sitting concealed in the tent. The music was playing and the guests were all arriving. Obviously, I was nervous, as were you. We had both been running around all day, and it was finally the moment we had been waiting for, and anticipating for several months! And there we were, completely calm. For my readers who are stepping in: Have you ever seen Father of the Bride? There is this scene where the bride has just broken up with her fiancée over something completely ridiculous. The fiancée is at a bar, and the father of the bride comes to him and says,
“You know…she is an over-reacter from a long line of over-reacters”.
Which basically sums us up, so this picture and that moment is a treasure I will never forget!
This moment will forever go down as one of my favorite moments. You walked me down the aisle to give me away to the love of my life, but you took it very seriously. Not because it was a sad moment, or because you didn’t want to, but because you knew how important it was to raise me and lead me, and you knew how important it was to trust someone else to lead me now. And I do have to say that he is doing a mighty fine job 🙂
As I mentioned above, you were my biggest cheerleader throughout high school, and that rang true through college as well. Even though you were across the ocean for most of my four years, you were still my encourager and my person who told me that a 4.0 wasn’t everything. You still loved me with a 3.9 😉
I miss you every single day. But I take great pride in knowing that you are where the Lord has called you to be. I know that the relationships that you are building and the ministries that you are involved in are making a huge impact on the kingdom.
I’m so thankful that I have you as an example in my life. An example as a spouse, as a parent, as a missionary, as a student, as a grandparent, and as a follower of Christ. I’m so thankful for you!