Saturday, June 07, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy...

Today would have been my Dad's 66th birthday. I know I've said it a billion times, but life just seems so strange without him around. I can still call his cell phone and hear his voice when I get his voicemail...I do that occassionally...I know it's strange. I thought in honor of his birthday, I'd share a couple of memories...

Once, when Charlyn and I were probably at least early teens, we got into a HUGE fight. I don't remember the reason for the dispute exactly, but I do remember that we were screaming to the tops of our lungs while simultaneously throwing things at each other (and I'm pretty sure that whatever the cause, I was totally right!!). After several rounds of screaming and throwing, my Dad cautiously opened the door to our bedroom and said very calmly, "I'm going to shut this door, and the two of you need to throw punches until someone is bleeding. Do not come out of this room until someone is bleeding. Whoever isn't bleeding wins!" And, then, he quietly shut the door (and perhaps stood right outside to listen for our reaction!). Immediately, we changed our tune..."no, Daddy, please, Daddy, we're sorry. We won't fight anymore. Please don't make us hit each other!"

Now, although I wouldn't recommend this parenting technique with boys, it totally worked on us. No way did we want to be in pain from throwing punches!! And so, in my opinion, a brilliant move on the part of my Dad! That's how he did things...calmly and brilliantly!

My dad did have his faults, however! One HUGE fault was that he thought WAY TOO HIGHLY of his children! He openly bragged to people about our accomplishments and would often embarrass me with his boasts. On one such occassion, I was sitting with him in the stands of our HS boys basketball game. At some point during the game, a disgruntled parent began to complain that neither of her sons was getting to play. As she became more and more agitated, she snipped that the only kids in Evadale who get to play are the ones whose parents work for the school or go to Central Baptist Church (both of those applied to me and Charlyn and both she and I were starters on the varsity girls!). My Dad turned around and what he said left me MORTIFIED!! He told this grumbling, ruffled mother hen that he would put his two girls up against her two boys any day of the week. Just name the time and place! (At this point, I wanted to disappear! I could feel my face flushing hotly and was hoping she didn't take him up on his offer!) Well, to my relief, momma hen shut right up! And, my dad sat with the biggest smirk on his face for the remainder of the game...and then, told that story to anyone who would listen! He was so proud of himself on that one!!

I wish I could call my dad and tell him happy birthday. I wish he would have gotten to celebrate his 66th birthday. But I can't and he didn't. And so, I will try to think of him fondly today. Not to remember his awful death, but to remember his great life. How he added to mine, and how blessed I was to have him. I love you, Daddy...happy birthday.

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