In honor of Father's Day I wanted pay tribute to my father who passed away June 12th 2011.
For those of you who knew dad, you know he liked to have a good time. He was generous and he loved boats. We had our share of ups and downs- life with dad was a pretty wild ride, but he was my dad. He was there when I was born and brought me a football and put it in my bassinet when I was just home from the hospital. I was honored to be with him as he was passing on, as he was with me when I came into the world.
Dad holding me along side his sister, Peggy and my cousin Erin
I've been thinking a lot about dad lately and what I really learned from him. What he taught me was- to be tough. From the time I can remember, dad was always telling me, "You're tough, you can take it." He taught me to box like my grandfather, Paul Waggoner, a featherweight boxer from Indianapolis. Dad would get down on his knees to spar with me. I was a spry and energetic 4 year old and he taught me how to bob and weave, duck, keep my hands up and throw right hooks. He let me get quite a few good swings in, I also took some and laughed and laughed and got back up for more, even more determined than the last time. I got a dirt bike for my 9th? birthday, while other girls were getting Barbie Dream Houses. Dad taught me how to ride and keep up with the boys my age riding. I felt like the coolest and toughest girl there was.
I played with mostly boys growing up and we'd rough house. Whenever I'd come running back whining that so- and-so hurt me, dad would reply, "If you can't run with the big dogs, then stay on the porch." And so I ran off with the big dogs.
As I got older and into my teen years, dad often remarked he taught me too well, because I had no qualms with standing up to him- and if you knew dad, sometimes he needed some standing up to! All in all, I believe he was very proud of what a strong and independent woman I had become. One of his other phrases he was fond of telling me before I ventured out for a night was, "Don't take any wooden nickels." I'm still not sure what that means exactly, but I think it means something like, don't let anyone take you for a ride!
Getting laughs in
Dad also liked to have fun. Our family had no issues with spending evenings breaking into song and singing any song we could think of. We went all out for holidays decorating our yard for Halloween, making fake dummies for the front yard complete with dry ice. Setting up for Christmas was equally enjoyable. We'd put on Christmas carols, sing and unpack our Christmas decorations recalling years past. Dad would randomly start raw egg fights over the years. I'm sure mom loved cleaning up after that! Dad bought me my first folder even before I was in kindergarten. I used to put my papers in books and carry them around like I was going to school. One day he came home from work with a folder. I thought it was the best thing ever. I think I might be the only kid I know that had a swing in her bedroom. Dad anchored a swing right in the middle mine and Kim's twin beds in our shared room. We took turns swinging IN OUR ROOM, whenever we wanted. How cool is that!? He taught me to ride a bike and he built me and Kim a lemonade stand and a tree house. We had good times.
Our lemonade stand
Dad and me on one of the parents' visits to the bay
Dad and I had our differences, now- what's the point in remembering those? I choose to remember the good times, the great times and know that he loved me and I loved him and he helped to make me the woman I am very proud to be today. Without my past I wouldn't be me.
I'll miss his greeting, "Hey, Beck" and his valediction, "Bye, darlin'", I suppose that's why memories last a lifetime.
Dad, me and Maisy
To all the dad's out there- Thank you for all you do.
To my husband- I couldn't be more proud of the kind of father you are to our girls. If I could choose a perfect dad- it would be you. Our girls are beyond lucky.
WIth all my heart,