My Daddy

16 06 2003

I grew up with a man whose heart is as tender as they come. I was a firecracker of a kid, and he knew just how to handle me. Mom was a fly-off-the-handle type. Big spanking and it’s all over. But not Dad. First he’d send me to my room. Then, after an appropriate pause, he’d come and sit on the edge of the bed. Before he even opened his mouth, I’d be crying because of the sorrow in his eyes. He’d sit quietly for a minute. “I’m so disappointed.” That’s all it took. I’d be weeping with remorse.

When I brought home my report card with less than A’s, he’d look at it, then at me. He’d ask questions. We both knew I could make A’s easily at the public school I attended. He never got angry. Just explained what he expected. And I wanted to please him. I wanted him to be proud. My academic success is largely due to that desire.

Dad always bragged about his kids. He’d introduce me to his friends, then go into a glowing report of all my “talents.” I’d smile patiently. I knew his friends didn’t really want to hear it, but they knew Dad and loved who he was. They understood that he loved his family enough to die for us. They enjoyed his enthusiasm and knew he meant every word. We knew it too. We grew up confident.

When I tried on my wedding dress at home, my mom said, “Don’t let your father see you.”

“Why not?”

“Just don’t let him.”

On my wedding day, I understood. Dad walked me down the aisle. Then, before he gave me away, George sang to me. I was smiling at George, then glanced at Dad. Tears were streaming down his face. I looked away quickly. Didn’t want to melt down right there at the front of the church. For years, every time Dad heard the song George sang, he cried.

When the kids were six, four, and two, we moved from Texas to Virginia. We borrowed Dad’s Suburban to pull the trailer. The day we left, he stood in the driveway, weeping silently. As we turned onto the street, George looked back at him and started to cry, too. “I’m breaking your father’s heart,” he said. “I’m taking his daughter and grandchildren half-way across the country, and I’m killing him.”

I didn’t know what to say. The two men I love most are the most tender-hearted men on the planet.

My Daddy still cries sometimes when we say good-bye. Some men might think it’s a sign of weakness. But, to me, he’s the picture of masculinity. A man of wisdom, devotion, and sacrificial love.

I need to close this now. I want to go call my dad.


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8 responses

16 06 2003
ragamuffen

It’s wonderful to know that dads like that existed. And to hear Luke tell it…he has a great one too. I’m not truly jealous….I’m happy for you!

16 06 2003
jeannedamoff

Thank you. I know I have so much to be thankful for, both in my father and the father of my children. I’m glad that your husband is the kind of father you can admire. What a gift to you and your kids!

I’m still praying for you, your sister-in-law, and Kim.

EZ

16 06 2003
allenb

The Man Who Cried …

My Daddy still cries sometimes when we say good-bye. Some men might think it’s a sign of weakness. But, to me, he’s the picture of masculinity.

Well, then, that must make me a MANLY MAN in your eyes, because this made me bawl! This was SOOOO beautiful! This was wonderful, EZ. Sigh.

A.

17 06 2003
jeannedamoff

The Manly Man Who Cried …

See! I told you you’ll make a great dad some day! :o)

Thank you so much for your kind words. You’re so thoughtful. I always appreciate your comments.

17 06 2003
Anonymous

Loved this story.

And I’m dying to know — what was the song George sang to you?

17 06 2003
jeannedamoff

Just call us Jack and Jill

The song was “Let Us Climb the Hill Together.” I can’t remember who first recorded it. He had two amazing acoustic guitarists backing him up, and it was gorgeous.

Thanks for asking . . . and for loving the story! :o)

17 06 2003
foolssong

Signs Of Weak Knees

This was beautiful. Thank you for sharing it.

18 06 2003
jeannedamoff

You’re very welcome!

And thank you, too.

Your comments are a gift. Please know I read each one with gratitude.

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