Father Of Mine…

Happpy Father’s Day!

I can honestly say I’m blessed to know a lot of amazing fathers, and I hope each and every one of them have an incredible day today.  But, more than anything, there are three men in my life who have completely shaped my vision of what makes a great father, and I’d like to take the time to say something to each of them today, since I’ll only get to spend the day with one.  First, of course is Daddy – who I am lucky enough to navigate parenthood with Monsters with.  Second, is Papa Clyde – AKA my father; and third is Poppy – my know-it-all (it’s true, he does know everything!) grandfather. Without these men I wouldn’t be the person, daughter, friend, or mother that I am.  Each one of them has influenced me beyond a shadow of a doubt.

Poppy 

Happy Father’s Day old man!  I haven’t called you yet this morning because I figured you might actually take advantage of the day and sleep in and I didn’t want to be the one who woke you up!  Mind you, I obviously have no problem doing this every other day of the year, but still.  It is Father’s Day after all.  I truthfully don’t even know how to write this.  When I look back at my life, and your role in it, I can honestly say you are one of the only people in the world I have always known, 100% was there for me, no questions asked.

For as long as I can remember you’ve answered endless un-answerable questions, simply to entertain me.  You’ve given me your love for a good baseball game, a cold beer, and a determination to learn how to do an Irish Step Dance (which we both know I will never be able to accomplish given my miserable failure at any form of dance).  More than that, you’ve given me stability, love, faith, and a sense of humor I would be lost without.  I have countless memories of conversations we’ve had while walking through grocery stores, or other public places – most of those memories are seared into my mind not because of the depth of them (not that we haven’t shared in some wonderful and serious conversations, because we certainly have), these memories stand out because of the looks on the faces of the strangers around us as they eavesdropped on the constant banter between us.

You have always been able to find a way to find the humor in even the worst situations, and I can’t begin to express how grateful I am to you for giving that gift to me.  Being able to not just find the good in the bad, but finding the humor in what should be a humorless situation has saved me on so many levels.  Knowing I can call you and no matter how much of my own hair I have pulled out over the antics of the Monsters, you will laugh so hard I can’t help but laugh with you.  It’s become one of the most important aspects of my life, and my number one coping mechanism when things get rough.

You’ve been a father to me through thick and thin, going above and beyond grandfatherly duties, and I’ll never be able to properly express how much that means to me.  I have never felt like I didn’t belong with you.  You gave me my first lesson in love being thicker than blood.  So, when you’re sitting in the pavilion next, drinking a beer and listening to the radio, have that flamingo at your side give you a toast from me.  Next month I’ll be able to give you a proper toast myself, and I fully expect to leave with a heart full of love and a belly full of laughter.  I love you Poppy, I miss you to pieces, and I hope you have the best Father’s Day yet.

P.S.

Kaleb says “Happy Father’s Day!”

Mason says “Why?”

Ha!  I love you,

Princess Flamingo

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Papa Clyde –

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

I’ve had my fair share of father figures throughout my life.  But only when you came along did I truly get a Dad.  I know I have probably already said this a hundred times, for a hundred different occasions, but I’ll say it again:  Thank you.

Thank you for being my Dad.  Thank you for taking me as I was, and as I am, and loving me unconditionally despite my best efforts to make you do otherwise.  Thank you for standing by me, behind me, and in front of me as I navigated the world around me.  Thank you for being everything a father should be and more.  Thank you for opening your arms, your heart, your family to me and never letting go.  Thank you for rescuing me from myself when I needed rescuing, and letting me struggle when I needed to rescue myself.  Thank you for everything.

Through you I have learned so much.  I’ve always been stubborn (a trait we both share to a fault), I’ve always been a heard-headed girl, who wanted what I wanted and that was that.  You’ve taught me how to accomplish the things I want in this life, while building relationships, instead of burning them to the ground.  You’ve shown me how rewarding it is to teach others, and help those around me.  You’ve redefined compassion and loyalty, while encouraging me to continue to be as outrageous as I want to be.  You’ve given me independence, while making sure to be there when I needed someone to lean on.

We’ve grown together – you and I.  We’ve both had some of the stubborn stripped away in light of things that we couldn’t see coming or control, and we’ve learned from those things.  In all the battles I’ve had to wage, with myself, my kids, my family – even you – you have always been there to find the light at the end of the tunnel with me.  We’ve been through awesome times, and we’ve been through hell, and no matter what you never lost faith.  You’ve made me crazy, and I’ve made you grey, yet still you stand proudly by my side and introduce me as your daughter.  You’ve shown me what it means to have not just a father, but a Dad; proving once more to me that love is stronger than blood.  I couldn’t imagine what my world would be like without you, and I never want to.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy, I will see you this evening, and I’ll raise as many toasts as I can to a man who changed my life for the better, forever.

I love you,

Your pain in the ass daughter.

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Daddy 

Happy Father’s Day Love!

Of course you know I had to save the best for last 😉

Oh where do I even begin?  We have the luckiest kids on the planet – because they have you.  But they aren’t the only lucky ones, I am as well.  In the last five years we have gone through hell and back more times than I dare count.  We’ve made each other laugh, and cry, and yell, and curse the heavens – but through all of it you have been, and always will be, everything.

You are my constant (I am perfectly aware of how completely unstable that must mean I am!), my rock, a beacon for everything that matters in this world.  You have taught me so much, and continue to do so each day.  You’re honest to a fault (seriously, no girl actually wants to know if the dress makes her look fat), your integrity and ethic is unparalleled to anyone I have ever known.  But those aren’t the reasons I love you.  Actually, half the time, those are the reasons I want shake you!

I love you because you are you.  I’ve never been more aware of how lucky I am to share this life with you than I am right now.  Our boys get to grow up with a father who teaches them that life isn’t easy – but it’s worth it if you work for what you want.  They have inherited the best of you, and for that alone they will grow up to be forces to be reckoned with.  You sacrifice daily for this family – for me, for them, for us as a whole – and you don’t get nearly the amount of acknowledgement that you should.  You spend months away from us to ensure we are able to do the things we want to do.  To give them the life that we want for them.  To give me a life I could never have dreamed of, and we will never be able to fully make you understand how much you mean to us.

Each and every time life throws us a curveball you take it and make it work to your very best ability.  You miss so much, yet without you, there wouldn’t be anything to miss.  You come home to chaos, and crazy, and you accept and love every single bit of it.  You chose us – and we are so incredibly lucky.  We are lucky to have a man who knows when to push and when to wait.  We are lucky to have a man who is patient, compassionate, understanding, faithful, and just as insane as the rest of us.

I’m sorry that you are missing Father’s Day.  But you’ll be home in just a few days now, and we will make up for it as best we can.  I know it’s hard being gone.  I know it isn’t easy to have to miss out on so much, I can’t even imagine how hard that is.  But what I also know is how much we love you.  We go about our daily lives while you fight tireless for us to have them, and we could not be more proud of you.  You are the strength in this family.  The foundation of the life we are building together.  I can look back at the last few years and know with an absolute certainty that we can face anything.  We can make it through anything together.

I cannot wait to start the rest of our lives together.  I cannot wait to marry you.  And I love you all the more because you’re crazy enough to actually want to marry me.

You are an incredible father, (future) husband, and friend.  You deserve an amazing Father’s Day – and when you get home, I will give that to you.  Once and for all you have proven to me beyond a shadow of a doubt that love is thicker than blood.  I love you more than words can express, and I will see you soon.  There will be cold beer, warm pizza, and a house of Monsters waiting for your arrival.  Have a wonderful day Love.

I love you,

The insane mother of your children, and your future wife.

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***There is a side note here.  Because I probably won’t be writing tomorrow, I need to say this now.

This is a bittersweet day for me.

Don, one year ago tomorrow you left this world, and all of us in it that loved you.  Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you.  For 364 days I have looked down at the pirate band on my arm I have thought of you. I hope wherever you are, you have the peace that was sometimes so difficult for you to find in life.  I hope you’re playing beer pong and listening to music loud enough to make everyone around you crazy.  Most of all, I hope you are happy, and I hope you know how much you were loved by so many people.  We miss you.

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