I thank God for my dad!
He is “Chief” because he is too young & hip to be “Grandpa.” He is a coach, a former tennis pro and now one of the most renowned golfers in the Southeast. He is a military brat and spent his formative years in France. He is a fantastic dancer. He carries enough supplies in his Tahoe to fly a plane by himself, and he could probably figure out how to do it if you gave him enough time.
He received the first-ever track scholarship from Appalachian State University. He transferred there after playing football at University of Florida and realizing he’d rather run. One semester, he ran into a biology professor who told him she only gave out three A’s for the entire class. He was not an A student. He does not like to be challenged. He earned one of those A’s that semester.
My dad & I are a lot alike. We’re driven, we’re stubborn, & we can be critical if we’re not careful. You can imagine what that looked like in a teenage girl who, in addition to all of those things, also desperately desired her Daddy’s approval. I threw my father for a loop many times. I started listening to hardcore music and going to shows in high school. I remember trying to explain to my dad that the straight-edge kids who wore black were actually the good kids. The boys at school had a healthy fear of him… they called him “Scary Gary.” Later, I college-hopped and even took a semester off to travel the world, for a missions program. I married an older man with kids. I got pregnant soon thereafter, while I was still in nursing school. I made a decision to be the primary breadwinner, in order to free my husband to pursue a career in music & ministry.
Through each one of these seasons, though, my dad has learned more about me. And in return, I like to think I’ve earned his respect. My proudest moment in our relationship was during Ames’ birth, when I saw him walk in the door towards the end of my 20+hour labor. He got to witness me pull my son up to my chest in my own bedroom, on my own turf. I remember looking at him and thinking, this is the most intense, athletic, powerful thing I’ve ever done. Are you watching? I am woman. Hear me roar, Dad.
It gives me a lot of joy & pride to me able to share my kids with my dad. He didn’t have the same chance, as he lost his father shortly before I was born. I count it as a blessing each time we come together as a big family. He has been an amazing grandfather to my three kids, and he’s taken on Lucas & Avery as his own. A lot of the life lessons I teach my children come from him. My favorite piece of advice: Make decisions based on how you want to feel later, and not on how you feel now. That wisdom has guided me through many hard decisions, and I find myself handing it out to others often.
Without even knowing it, my dad taught me what to look for in a husband. And as a result, my husband and sons will be able to teach my daughters what a true & noble man looks like.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY,
SCARY GARY CHIEF!