A Letter to Fathers

My first real memory with my Dad began with a Coca Cola.1006136_10200807684686917_806961173_n

I was sitting in front of our console TV, with gigantic bunny ears covered in aluminum.

My Barney tape was being re-wound for the 47th time, so my heart was content.

I saw candy on the kitchen table, butterscotch hard candy to be exact, and asked my mom if I could eat it.

“Yes” came from her lips…

Dreams really do come true.

I plopped down in front of the TV once again and threw that candy into my mouth and INSTANTLY it went right down my throat.

I panicked.

I wasn’t choking, but it hurt. I could feel that candy SLOWLY moving it’s way down my throat, through my chest. THE WORST, especially at 4 yrs old.

I became hysterical.

For those of you who don’t know me, I was, and still am, REALLY dramatic.

My dad ran in, swooped me up, and walked with me to the kitchen. He opened the door of the refrigerator and together we sat on the floor.

He pulled out a can of Coca Cola, poured a little into a sippy cup, and said,

“take you a little sip a’ that.  It will make you feel better.”

It was a moment that created more moments for us.

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I sipped that goodness called coke and dad rocked me in our old recliner. It was our secret. Mom only bought those cokes for dad and they were off limits, but he shared his coke with me and created a safe place for a moment.

He was always known for that in our house. The safe place. The one who could tell the best stories and give the best hugs. He spoke enormous amounts of life into the identities of his daughters and never once made us feel that we weren’t enough.

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He was always up for hide and seek, racing down the beach, chasing us up the stairs (which was weirdly our favorite part of when dad got home), never got frustrated when all of his t shirts went mysteriously missing and then found when his three little ones woke with those t shirts as night gowns.

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He loved our mom. He still loves our mom. He dotes on her, he admires her, he kisses her, he jokes with her, he’s wild about her, and with his actions in loving her, he has shown his daughters how a man should love his wife.

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Saturdays were adventure days with Dad.  Some may think that buying live worms for fishing and getting a candy bar is no big deal, but to us, it was everything.

He taught us how to love rock n roll or as he calls it “real music”, and pushed us to see the beauty of history.

He showed us what hard work was and never let us give up if something got hard.

He was forgiving when all three of us wanted to be dancers and piano players rather than basketball stars.

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In fact, he never missed a recital.

He taught us what grace really was, he never lacked in patience, he was steadfast in fearlessness, and consistent in kindness.

More than anything, my father taught me and my sisters about the character of The Father.

We got to experience a piece of heaven with a dad who chose to present himself with the qualities of heaven.

Today, I know that my best conversations happen when dad and I drink Coke together.

He still gives the best hugs and tells the best stories.

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His laughter is wildly contagious.

He has made his sons-in-law his own and understands the importance of family.

To all the Fathers out there, biological or in spirit, thank you.

Thank you for defying the odds and statistics of fathers today. Thank you for filling up that place in your child’s life that needs filling and for being a representation of Father God in the way you are actively present for your children.

Thank you for creating a safe place for your kids to go, no matter what they have done.

Thank you for choosing to be a father.  Your lives, your leadership, your characters are changing this world, for the better.

Daddy, thanks for the coke.

Thanks for the safe place.

Thanks for who you are.

Happy Father’s Day.

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