As Father’s Day approached, I dreaded writing a Father’s Day post. Not because it was for my daddy, of course not, I adore the man, but because the last 18 months have thrown our family for a loop and I truly fear not being able to vocalize how strong Coach is.
For those of you unaware, about 18 months my father began having very bad migraines. In February of 2014, he went to the emergency room to get checked out and was rushed to a hospital about an hour away for emergency surgery. I was about 37 weeks pregnant when my mother demanded I hand my cell phone to my husband, in fear the stress would cause me early labor(though after going 42 weeks, I’m not sure I would have complained!) to let him know where they were going. He had multiple surgeries, drains put into his head, and after being sent home once he was brought back to the hospital. Due to listening to Coach’s wishes, I never drove the two hours to visit him while he was hospitalized. There were a few days I was terrified he wouldn’t make it to see my son come earthside.
It was possibly the scariest time of my life.
If I were to be 100% honest here-and I usually am, because honesty is something I believe in, even when it hurts- there were days I prayed that if God was going to choose to take him from us, please, just allow him to meet his youngest grandson first. I was that desperate.
Then suddenly, by the grace of Jesus, he was getting better. Coach began to bounce back. Slowly, at first, then faster as time passed. Now I look at him and see the same strong, sturdy man I watched while growing up. I see him running around the yard with my kids, see him swinging my son into the air.
There are times I’m reminded of what happened last year. I see the scars across his head, see as he has to go back to appointments for check ups and he tires out. That may be the incident or it could be the fact he’s getting to be an old man. Most likely it’s a little mixture of both.
More often, however, I am reminded of my father’s amazing strength, what it took to overcome the obstacle thrown at him last year. I see the strength he exhibits each and every day. I’m reminded of the love he has for us, and the way he fights for us everyday. When I told of my mother, I spoke of her heart-which she wears on her sleeve. I’m just like her in that aspect; I love quick and I love hard. My father…he’s not. Growing up I watched as he appeared to be a hard headed, stubborn man, with a wife who was a saint. Just today, he made a joke about how I need to stop being so much like my mother and offering kind words of fairness when I “actually dislike someone”.
But once you get to know my father, and really get to know him, you learn pretty quickly he’s a big softie in his own right. He has a special place in his heart for those boys who need him, as I’ve seen him take one or two or even a dozen under his wing while coaching for years. I’ve seen him go into battles he will probably lose, just to help gentlemen stay on the paths they need to succeed in life. With all his loud mouthing and strong arming, it’s coming from a place of love. A love he especially has for his kids and his beautiful(I’m not biased) grandkids.
I was so blessed to have my father growing up and it’s not something I ever said thank you to God for as often as I nearly should have. Last year was a once in a lifetime(I’m praying) reminder to me as to how thankful I should be. My husband lost his father four years ago this December. Father’s Day isn’t always the easiest thing in our house. We don’t talk about it often(he doesn’t talk about it often, I try to because I’m a woman through and through and emotions) but it hurts me to know my kids will never meet my father in law. I know it bothers Josh deeply too. I also know Zero must have been looking down on my daddy last year when everything happened and put in a good word. He must have known Josh teaching the kids how to hunt and fish would leave for hungry generations after us, so we needed to keep this grandpa earthside to teach them how.
I am so happy he is still here to be grandpa and I am so happy he is still here to be my father. All the lessons he’s taught me over the years, from how to throw a ball, to how to take a hit, to how important education is, I am so grateful he will be here to show my kids all these things. I’m grateful he’s around to call up when a kid goes crashing down and I’m panicking about the blood or bones. I can’t wait to see him bring the kids out the first day of a season or watch as he teaches them how to throw a football and catch a pop up.
But I’m not sitting here just waiting for those crazy important happenings anymore. The last year has reminded me how important it is to appreciate him everyday, because I am blessed to have him. I always have been and I will be blessed for the rest of my life to have grown up with a man who taught me what a father should be. Because of that, I married a man who is what a father should be, what a husband should be. My father not only gave me the gift of being my father and my kids grandpa, but he also gave me the gift of knowing what I deserved.
And a very happy Father’s Day to my husband, who has lived up to every hope I ever had in one…and beyond.