Confessions of an Unintentional Domestic Goddess

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Dad, Daddy, Father, Papa, Pop, Pere, Padre, Papi……

on June 20, 2011

So many names, so many languages (I didn’t even try any of the Asian characters) to me they all mean the same thing: Love. Strength. Hero. Mentor. Friend.

Yes, this is a day late, just like my dad was. Not that that’s a bad thing, my dad was known to be late on occasion.

It’s Father’s day and I find myself remembering my dad and all the things he taught me growing up. I wish I could spend the day with him, but we lost him nearly 12 years ago to brain cancer. I miss him still. I’m sure I always will. He had an easy laugh, a really dry sense of humor, and gave great hugs. Dad was also very generous, honest to a fault, and compassionate.

God bless him, my dad didn’t have an athletic bone in his body. I think the only sport he ever participated in (if you can call it that) was bicycling, but even that was only for pleasure not competition. Dear old Dad. When I was in 5th grade I think, I decided I wanted to play soccer. The drawback was there was no one to coach our team, so dad, wanting me to have the opportunity to try out a new sport, volunteered even though all he knew about soccer was that it was kick ball. He tried his very best to coach us. The poor guy was put on the spot at the first coaches meeting when they asked what our team name was going to be. Dad and the assistant coach, or co-coach, came up with a really terrifying team name: The Knee Kickers. And yes, I am serious. Can you imagine the fear we instilled in the hearts of our opponents? Yeah, I know, laughter, snickers, and even glee on their faces was closer to the truth. Dad tried his hardest, but we were so terrible, we only scored 1 goal all season. No, that’s not a typo, we scored ONE SINGLE GOAL for that entire season. Knee Kickers indeed. That was apparently all we were kicking then!

Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer when I was 13. Being 13 was traumatic enough, but my parents were divorcing, then came the blow of dad’s cancer. It was hard for me, but being a parent and just a bit older now than he was when he was diagnosed, I know the determination he had to beat the odds and stick around to help mold my brother and me.

Even though as a teenager, I adamantly refused to believe that my parents were not completely mental, I did learn a lot from my dad that has served me well in my adult life.

Professionalism is key, even when you’re just a teenager working in your dad’s office.
Treat people with respect, kindness and compassion, because some day, you may need that from someone else.
Never take anyone for granted, or take advantage of someone.
Honesty is always best, even when it’s painful, it’s easier to remember later than trying to remember what story you told to whom.
Family always comes first.
Find something you love to do and do it.
Don’t be afraid to show and share your emotions.
You can do whatever you want in life if you work hard enough.

If you can’t laugh at yourself, something’s wrong.

Dad had one quality in abundance: determination. Some may have called it stubbornness. I call it determination. He was determined to overcome the cancer and stick around to watch us grow up.

Unfortunately, 12 yrs ago, we got the bad news that the cancer was back and untreatable. He had done his job, we were grown, he was able to walk me down the aisle and present my diploma to me when I graduated chiropractic college and followed him into his profession. I’m sad he never got to meet my children, but i tell them stories about him all the time and show them pictures so they know who he was, even though he didn’t get the opportunity to spoil grandkids like he’s always wanted to.

Dad, never being one who liked being told what to do, decided when it was going to be his time to go, not when someone else decided it was going to happen.

I see a lot of the qualities my dad had, in  my husband. He’s a jokester. He likes to laugh. He’s laid back and easy going and doesn’t lose his temper easily, but when he does, you’d better look out! He works hard to take care of us, and wants our children to have better lives.

This is for all of the dads out there who love their children unconditionally, teach them the things they need to succeed in life, and for the ones who never had the opportunity. You are more influential than you can ever imagine.

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