Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Superman

Last Sunday was Fathers Day. A day we set aside to celebrate that man in our lives who gave us life. For some people that is all a father gives but I am lucky, my father gave me so much more. So this ones for my dad.

I remember "daddy daughter days" when my father would wake me up in the morning and tell me to pick whatever I wanted to do. My answer consisted of various activities but it almost always included going through the car wash. I don't know why, but I'm sure we had the cleanest car in town because every second Saturday I would be dragging my dad off to the car wash.

I remember sitting on the front row of the church my father pastored and each Sunday it would come to that time of communion. As I took my little piece of bread and my tiny cup of grape juice my dad would pick me up onto his lap and whisper in my ear the story of Jesus. I remember the way he valued me and didn't think I was too little to understand. I remember a man who was responsible for over 100 people in that room but was never too important to give his daughter the time to build into her life, even if that meant saying the same thing every single week.

I remember weekends in Pemberton when we would build forts, race leaves down streams and walk through ancient forests.

I remember sitting in the car park of our local caltex when my dad told me that he was leaving and my parents were getting a divorce. Whilst this broke my heart and made me question everything, the strongest thing I remember about that time is that he left my home but he never left me. He stayed present, engaged and sacrificial. He gave, when he had nothing to give from. While he was losing everything, his family, his career, his friends, he never once dropped the ball or let me see how hard it was for him. He was, as he has always been, a pillar in a time of uncertainty and a soft place to fall. 

I remember years when my dad would buy me and my sister MacDonalds for dinner and order nothing for himself. Later I found out it was because he couldn't afford it as a minimum wage security guard.

I remember countless sleepovers in my dads lounge room with 5 girls sprawled all over the furniture full of pizza and high on fizzy drink and lollies. My dad would drive us wherever we needed to go, buy us whatever we needed to have and then retreat to his bedroom and leave us to swoon over Chad Michael Murray.

I remember watching tears well up in his eyes every time he had to hold me down to have a test or a procedure for my heart. The way he would come to the hospital after a 12 hour shift just to sit next to me and hold my hand as I slept.

I remember sitting next to him in a psychologists office as a 130kg male tried desperatley hard to understand how his 45kg daughter could believe so strongly that she was fat and ugly that she starved herself for 5 years.

And finally I remember my 21st birthday party when my dad, the greatest man I have ever known, stood up and told a room full of people that he was proud of me (and that I am pretty enough for all normal purposes...).

There has never been a day when I have felt unsafe if I know that my dad is there.
If I ever needed anything for school, no problem, he would pull some extra shifts.
If I didn't know how to do my homework, no problem, he would sit at the table and explain it to me.
If I couldn't pay my bills when I moved out at 19, no problem, he would put it on his credit card and help me move all my stuff back home.

Even when stuff was hard, I never knew it was hard because I had a dad filter between me and the world. I never had to wonder if things would be ok because I just knew that he would figure it out before it ever affected my life.

I know that so many people don't get to have the story that I have. So many people suffer with fathers that are angry, abusive, cold or absent.

I know that I have something to be so grateful for.
I have a man in my life that taught me how I should be treated by a man.

I only hope that one day I marry someone who can be the father to my children that my father is to me.

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