If you read my post about my Mom, you understand that my parents are extremely inspiring and important people to me. I don’t know who I would be without either of them…I started this inspiration series with my mom, but now it’s time to share a little bit about my ‘Faj’…
I realize that nobody is perfect. But when I was growing up, I couldn’t help but think that maybe my dad was perfect. There were no outbursts, raised voices, or moments of uncertainty when making a decision (at least none that I was ever aware of). He was poised and controlled. And he always thought carefully before he spoke.
Because my dad has such a unique ability to think every one of his words through before saying them aloud, there was never any turning back. I believed that whatever he said was how things were and how they were meant to be, and I just didn’t argue. Except maybe a few times in my teenage years… We’ll let those slide ;)
Dad is one of five and while he was a kid, his family moved around quite a bit. Over the years, he formed very solid and close relationships with his siblings. I attribute my closeness to my brothers and sisters to his closeness with his. Every year my dad gets together with his siblings for ‘Sibfest’- a tradition that has been passed on to his own kids. Sam, Brit, Lo, and Joe, all flew down to Austin in May and we had our own first ‘Sibfest’.
My Dad is also a very modest person. I’ve never known someone so brilliant to be so subtle about his abilities. He attended Kellogg business school at Northwestern after killing it at Miami of Ohio. He had exceptional grades, a wonderful work ethic, and a dream of supporting a large family.
He has a deep love for fall and nature and the great outdoors… Kind of sounds familiar, right? Yup- I love these things very much too. We would drive up to ‘Happy Andy’s’- (the family hunting shack) each October for a weekend getaway up north. My mom would stay at home. The ‘shack’ accommodations were not so suitable for her, so we had a weekend with Dad to ourselves. Some of my favorite childhood memories consist of learning to build campfires, climbing trees, walking through the forest in search of grouse, and telling ghost stories by the fire. The stories were manageable as we all curled up in one big room at night. I had two sisters on each side of me because I always won the middle card placement. Eldest child privileges…am I right?
Another memory of my dad that always crack me up is remembering when he’d come home from work so excited to ‘squeeze his babies’ that he’d drop his bags to put on ‘play clothes’ and we’d hear that inevitable snapping, indicating the tickle monster was coming upstairs in search of prey. He had an devilish grin on his face, and a habit of biting his tongue when overjoyed… The minute we’d hear that snapping, we’d all start a convulsion of giggles as we darted into the safety of our rooms. Did I say safety? We were never safe ;) Dad always won and we’d burst into our laughter and screaming fits and I can’t say this was a habit my mom really enjoyed… SO LOUD ;) But his excitement to see us always showed how much we meant to him…. The tickle days are over, but the tongue bite on the side of the mouth is always present when everyone is home and he is overwhelmed with happiness…
What I love most about my dad is his deep devotion to his family. Family is the most important thing in the world to him and it shows through his relationships with his siblings, his parents, his wife, and his children. While Eric and I were planning our wedding, we decided to have a display of previous weddings of our family members. You wouldn’t believe how excited my dad was to find old photographs of his relatives. Family history is everything to him. And the love of heritage is something I have also adopted from him.
Thank you Dad for being such a fantastic role model for all of us… For letting us figure out our skill sets and dreams… For being at all of our sports games, plays, karate matches, & events… For working so hard and never taking your stress out on us… For your epic roll of the arms dance moves & candid ‘duck lips’ moments caught on camera… (blame me all you want for that look but I’m pretty sure you’ve owned it quite nicely)… For always putting family first… For all your love and support over the years… and for being such an authentic, hysterical, wonderful, loving person, through & through.
I love you Dad!
Margie, Marge, Grete, Sharon, Yoda, Maid Merien, Cinderella, & Arielle…
Sorry for that last one Dad… But duck lips HAD to be shared ;)