June 27, 2010

Soup makes a good meal.

This year, I spent Father's Day away from my dad, and I had to call him from London. For the second time in three years. I did, however, make sure he had a card to open, and my gift to him was coming home, as much as I didn't want to do it. So now that I am home, safely settled and only a text away, I have a belated thank you for him:

I've heard, "You're just like your dad," more times than I care to count, and while it's usually said in frustration, I have to stifle a smile every time, because to me, it's a great compliment.

I am a lot like my dad. I have my dad's all or nothing personality. I can't eat just one of anything, and neither can he. I can, however, eat nothing, as can he. We're great at weight loss. And even better at weight gain.

I have my dad's allergies, asthma and bad eyes. I do not, however, have his long, long legs.

I have my dad's stubbornness. You should see it when we argue. Although, to be fair, Mom says I'm the only person to ever get my dad to admit he's wrong.

I have my dad's sense of humor. I think he's funny. He thinks I'm funny. He might be the only person who thinks I'm funny (wait-- you do, don't you?).

I have my dad's love of planning. Big dreams, little ideas-- we love thinking them out, stewing on them, and then, sometimes, getting around to them. Dad, I'm holding you to this marathon.

I don't have my dad's heart for others, though, and for that I'm sorry. I don't lose sleep thinking about others, their problems, and how I can help them. I don't go out of my way to make sure everyone feels included and has fun. I don't have his hospitality, his tendency to offer anything to anyone. And feel guilty when he can't. I don't have the kind of unconditional love he's repeatedly shown. I don't have his patience when others repeatedly make mistake after mistake, or his open arms when they come back. I wish I did, because it's these things that make him one-of-a-kind.

Thank you for everything, Dad (and Mom-- you're not forgotten here). For making sure I always have what I need, and usually, what I want. For letting me be involved in everything. And being the chauffeur and ATM through all of that. For putting up with my "teenage angst." For doing my laundry. For a pony. And a pool. For letting me actually drive once I had my license. For loving my friends. For sacrificing. For rules. For trust. For respect. For letting me leave. For crying when I left. For letting me come home to the same house, and the same two parents in it. Most of all, thank you for doing whatever it is you did that allowed me to grow up feeling safe, secure and confident in myself, knowing I could do whatever I wanted because I had two people who would absolutely love and support me no matter what. I've always, always felt so loved.

If it's true that everyone has "Daddy issues," mine are of the very best kind: I'll never meet a man that loves me or thinks as highly of me as my dad. That's a problem I can live with.

Dad, I know you don't want me to grow up, get married, and have babies of my own, but I'm going to be selfish and do it, because I want to watch you be their poppy. I want to watch you play games with them and never let them win. I want to seat belt them into the truck with you for a trip to the dump. I want to watch you grimace when they pull themselves up for the first time-- with the help of your leg hair. I want to watch them help you buckle your belt, even though it takes longer. I want to hear you lecture them about why they need to keep their rooms clean-- maybe they'll actually listen. I want to watch you teach them to count with coins and read with Hooked on Phonics. I want to see them laugh every time they open up a package from you and find a dollar at the top of the pile. I want to send them off for a weekend at Nana and Poppy's house and get the tearful call-- they don't want to leave.

And I'll be sure they have a little pair of green pajamas to wear while they do it all.

Love you, Dad. More than you know. I hope I've made you proud.

And to the two men I didn't get to spend Father's Day with this year: Poppy Green and Poppy King-- I miss you and am thankful for every sweet memory of you.

June 25, 2010


On today's drive home, MercyMe's "I Can Only Imagine" came on the radio and spurred a trip down memory lane...

It was the summer of either 2003 or 2004, meaning I was 16 or 17, and I was at the lake house, in the middle of a long vacation. I was in the habit of going to bed with the radio tuned to the local pop station because I liked falling asleep to music.

This night was no different-- after a long day of skiing and swimming (and probably eating), I settled into bed in the front room, in the same bed that I now have in Dallas, and turned on the FM. I dozed off, lulled by the sweet sounds of Beyonce, Kelly Clarkson and Lifehouse and a fan breeze on my face.

Then, sometime during the middle of the night, I woke up, startled: the secular station to which I had fallen asleep was playing a Christian song. The lyrics were a dead giveaway: "Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?" as was the twinkly accompanying piano. My first thought? Rapture! There could be no other explanation for something so ludicrous.

I was terrified. I had been one of those left behind. What did this mean? What about the rest of my family? My grandma, a wonderful, God-fearing woman, would be the litmus test. If she was still around, the whole radio thing was some sort of fluke. I sprinted to her bedroom, only to find her peacefully asleep, very much still present in this life. My heart started to slow down, and I went back to bed, said a few extra prayers, and fell asleep.

In the following weeks, I discovered that my night of terror was simply a result of MercyMe making the transition over into the secular music market, but I've since always had a bit of disdain for that song.

Interestingly enough, that was the first of a handful of rapture scares at the lake.