An Ode to My Dad

This post has taken me days to write. I wanted it to be perfect. Because, in my eyes, my dad IS perfect, so I wanted to do right by him. It still isn’t good enough…

I am listening to this song: Amarillo Sky


 

Every time I listen to this song, I think of my dad. I am in awe of that man. I love him so much, and yet, I rarely say it. It is the quiet, unspoken agreement between the two of us. But now, I’m saying it, loud and clear: I love you Dad. You are the best Dad ever.

“…He gets up before the dawn, packs a lunch and a thermos full of coffee. It’s another day in the dusty haze, those burnin’ rays are wearing down his body…”

That’s my dad. Hard working, heading off to work every single day. I don’t remember a time when my dad slept in. He is up early every day, country radio blasting, urging the day to begin. He has always had to work off the farm, but it never stopped him from being a farmer every chance he got.

“…and sends up another prayer: He says, Lord, I never complain, I never ask why. Please don’t let my dreams run dry…”

My dad just quietly keeps moving on, day after day. I admire that he never gave up the dream of being a farmer. He has always just kept on trying, even when others told him not to. His dreams didn’t run dry. He taught me to dream. That anything is possible if you work hard and never give up. He didn’t tell me that, he did better – he showed me.

“That hailstorm back in ’83, sure did take a toll on his family. But he stayed strong and carried on just like his dad and granddad before him”.

My Dad’s ‘hailstorm’: he became a single dad when my birth mom left us when I was 7. A single dad of 4 kids: me, the oldest, down to my baby sister, who was less than a year old. And he was only 26 himself. I don’t remember much of that time because my dad just kept on going. Kept being there for us. He could have given up. He could have let someone else raise us, but he never did. He stayed strong and carried on.

“…On his knees, every night, he prays, ‘Please let my crops and children grow. ‘Cause that’s all he’s ever known…”

I’m sure that this is all my dad has ever wanted. For his kids and grand children to grow. That’s all he’s ever done. He’s just always been providing for them. Patiently, quietly, steadily, knowingly.

My dad is the kind of dad that has always found time to be with us: reading a story, a piggy back ride, a board game, tossing the baseball around, going for a skate on the river, holding a grandchild’s hand walking out to the pasture, pulling everyone up the toboggan hill.

He has always been involved in our lives: leader in 4H, coach, career counselor, life adviser, the ride home on a lonely night whenever we’d call, rescuer of daughters in distress, godfather to grandchildren.

He is the fixer of all things broken: a bike, a swing set, a first car, a scraped knee, a heart of a teenager, a washing machine, miles of fence, a heart of a grown woman.

He is wise and all-knowing: what’s the best feed for our calves, where to find the juiciest raspberries, answers to Trivial Pursuit questions, what should I do when I grow up, how do I soothe my crying baby, what to do with the rebellious teenager, what should I do when I grow up again.

He is love: love of children, love of wife, love of parents, love of grand-children, love of nature, love of home and love of life.

“…And he takes the tractor another round, another round, another round…” On and on, I know my dad loves me and I love him. It just goes round and round and round. Never ending. Always there.

I love you, Dad.

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6 thoughts on “An Ode to My Dad

  1. You have absolutely no idea how great of a man he really is. He is one of the precious few who would be a REAL man – both loving and attentive in his own quiet way. He had the full capability to marry an equally great woman, one who gave up her own life in her twenties to help raise the four of us, alongside my Dad. I really do think that despite the tranquil hardwork our parents do, Shawna, the entire WORLD needs more people like them – absolutely GIVING to others, no questions asked. I cannot write like you, Shawna, but man do I appreciate how you write your love for our family so openly and so truthfully. It is needed.

    Love you,
    Kathy

    1. Thanks Kathy! We are truly lucky – and you’re right, the world needs more like them! But just think, the 2 of them made 4 of us, who have made 9 more, who will then make hopefully at least 18….and so on and so on! There is hope, dear sister! 🙂

      Love you too!
      S

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