Happy Father's Day, Dineane's Daddy
I've been thinking about writing a tribute to my dad for Father's Day for a while, probably since I wrote one for my mom for Mother's Day. But I've struggled with it. I have no idea why it's so hard for me sometimes to write words of appreciation and praise. I have nothing bad to say about my Dad. I love him, love spending time with him, and appreciate the job he did as a father more than I can express. So why has it been so hard to even get this hub started?
I don't know. All I can say is, Daddy, you're up there with James King! I've been wanting to write about him, too, and have encountered the same writer's block!
I hope my dad will take that as a compliment, since he's a blugrass fan. Daddy just started playing the bass a few months ago, and he has quite a collection of instruments. When I was growing up, Daddy played the trumpet. He played in high school, both for the marching band at school and for local dance bands, and he was awesome.
All three of us girls started playing trumpet in school when we reached band age. I didn't last long - one year? But my youngest sister, Deborah, followed in Daddy's footsteps and was a star in the high school band. Today she keeps Daddy on his toes with her bluegrass guitar playing.
Daddy and the Smith Girls
To say we've tested my dad over the years is an understatement. I won't admit all the bad things we did, not on the internet, but he knows. And we all know that he loved us through every single second of it, and forgave us, too, along the way. Maybe in part because he's made his own mistakes over the years. He's never held back in sharing his stories and lessons learned.
I love listening to my dad talk. I can sit (and have) at his dining room table for hours in conversation, and I always enjoy it. Daddy was always the one to give us a lecture when we needed - we certainly grew up in the typical "Wait until your father gets home!" family. Even as a child I knew he had the gift of gab. If we stopped at the convenience store for a Coke and a pack of nabs, there was no telling how long it would take Daddy to get back to the car - not because the lines were long, but because he was likely to end up in deep conversation with someone.
My dad worked for 40 years at the Weyerhauser paper mill in Plymouth, NC. A lot of my friends' dads did the same thing. There were not a lot of other choices in eastern North Carolina, and it wasn't a fun job. He rotated shift work almost my whole life - until being forced into early retirement a few years ago. Now he and his wife Julie "enjoy" retirement as finances permit - much like many folks his age these days. But I don't hear him complain. Much.
I have an early childhood memory of a nightmare - I was surrounded by granddaddy long legs. I inherited my maternal grandmother's irrational fear of spiders. I woke crying and screaming, and I remember my dad coming to my room, reassuring me, and staying with me until I fell asleep. I don't remember much from early childhood - my baby sister is the one with all the details - but I remember that crazy dream and Daddy's comfort like it was yesterday.
He's always been my protector, my strongest advocate, and my wisest advisor. What more could a girl ask for? My words can't do you justice, Daddy. I guess that's why this was so hard to write!
Thank you, Daddy, and Happy Father's Day!
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