I am pulling this one from the archives of “The Peachy Tree”.
For Fathers Day. A dedication to my Daddy…
I am a woman over the age of 30+ a decade or so. But my daddy is awesome and yes he is my daddy, not dad, father or Joe. He is and always will be my daddy. Some say it’s a southern thing, I say it’s cause he is my daddy.
That’s my dad with my 3 kids who all agree the world revolves around their Paw Paw.
Lets back up a few decades (rewind). My mom with 2 boys from a previous marriage met my father with 2 boys from a previous marriage, Now there were no “blended families” or awesome books to read on how to do it, and heck I don’t even think Dr. Spock had told people how to be parents yet, let alone that we were all precious snowflakes. So instead we just did what we always do, cookouts, fishing trips, going camping, him playing music and sitting around listening to stories about your Daddy from the days of long ago. Honestly the man is 77 years old, his most important job is to wake up the sun at the proper time EVERYDAY. Because he get’s up around 3am to start the day EVERY DAY. He stays updated on current events, and sits on boards, commissions, and councils. He has VERY STRONG beliefs on politics and he is outspoken, and loud and hilarious. But one thing is really clear. He’s MY Daddy and I love him.
My parents divorced when I was less than 3, and from then to age 17 I saw him maybe a handful of times. There was no right or wrong and I harbor no ill feelings to either side for the way I was raised. Because I really believe if it had been different I wouldn’t be who I am today. I have no childhood memories of him living with my mom, or us being a “family unit”. I have blips of him a couple times at different ages, but what I remembered most was the black haired man who loved me when he saw me. I certainly would NOT be the adult I am had I not made the next step. When I was 17 and had graduated High School, owned what would not be considered an even remotely safe car, I hit the road and drove 8 hours to “get to know him”. Needless to say the last 22+ years have been awesome. There has never been a situation where he didn’t say, “how can I help you”, or “I am on my way”. Granted he is like that for everyone, but he’s only “MY” daddy. He has been an amazing and hands on Paw Paw to not only my kids, but the step and extended family kids, and even their little friends. Everyone knows Paw Paw.
This man who gives so much of himself, his time to his last dime, to help out anyone, family, friend or stranger. He is sewn from this very rare moral fabric that brings me to my knees if I were to even try to live up to half of his remarkable character. I am in awe of him constantly. Although we do have views/guidelines and P.C. difference of opinions on occasions. He is a man from another time. He grew up picking cotton in AL. Youngest and smallest. He played in a radio show called the “wire grass ramblers”, back before everyone had TV’s. He lied about his age and name to joined the military when most kids are getting armpit hair. He got busted and ousted by his Momma, and had to wait 2 years to rejoin. He couldn’t do his dream job in the military which was to be a pilot his eyes were too bad, he took the job loadmaster as serious as a heart surgeon. He flew amazing missions, he is in a couple museums, but never even knew it until we visited them. He can tell a story and remember the exact day, time, weather, and clothing of anyone involved, all while making you laugh. He wrote a country song that turned EXTREMELY famous that he never got credit for. He married and lost and started over, then to make sure he repeated it, third try it stuck. Through all of the good times and the bad times of his life, he would tell me things that I think no one could live through and then he would say something funny and move on.
He’s a get up and go person, a giver, a friend, the neighbor you want, as he will drag/beat/shoot/ then run over anyone breaking in your house before he can find his cell phone to even think about calling for help. So in a weird way, it’s ok my kids only have 1 grandfather. I mean they couldn’t find a better role model, or a more loving one, or one with better cool stories. In the community people often approach me to tell me how wonderful my dad is or the time he did this or that for someone. My response is, he’s a fine man, and if I were allowed to pick my daddy, I would pick that one over and over again. He isn’t what you would call a financially well off man, but he sure is rich. I am proud of my Daddy and so glad he is in my life. My Daddy is a Peach. I am glad to be from him and hope I can carry on some of the morals and traits he has, but not the get up at 3am to start my day one, cause. Me likes some sleeping in.
He can grow anything anywhere; lemon, grapes, peppers so hot you may have to go to the hospital and always roses. He started over, from scratch after Katrina washed his house away 2 weeks after he made his final mortgage payment and the insurance gave him nothing. He is entirely devoted to his family and will kill or die for them. If you ever meet him, you are family. That easy. He plays guitar and sings, he’s a leader in Associations that deals with Veterans and he always has a white T shirt on under his “button down” shirt even when it’s 110 with 100% humidity. He goes to the barber once a week and wont eat fast food. His father was a preacher and that preachers boy fought in wars, married 3 times, had a radio show and was part of Operation Deep Freeze in 1965 where he was the first load master to make an air drop over the south pole. He can play any musical instrument every strung, but doesn’t read music. He never went past the 6th grade in school yet he is one of the smartest men I know. He does and always has, done 100% of the bills and shopping for his household. He would rather jump off a cliff than go back on his word. If Joe says it, it’s the Gospel truth take it to the bank. He doesn’t believe in long hair, piercings, tattoos or rock music, and he doesn’t care about being politically correct, he WILL tell you if he thinks your an idiot. He has written over 65 obituaries, given over 80 eulogies , been a paul bearer for over 1oo people. He has attended more than 300 funerals at least 1/2 of them for veterans or their spouses and he didn’t know at least 1/3 of them.
He believes in God, Country and Family, and to this day is willing to die for all 3.
No one wants to let him down, from family, to acquaintances everyone tries to please him and hides their “modern day” coolness.
He owned bars, employed single moms as bartenders and had a rule you had to watch your mouth in his bars. Everyone ran tabs, his own personal line of credit. Which they never paid. When they would die he would pull out their tab and tear it up, saying no one should die with debt on their shoulders. I watched him tap out a would be robber with a pool cue while holding a cup of coffee in the other hand and never raising his voice. He doesn’t care if you are the president or a bum, he is going to talk to you the same way and you ARE going to hear his opinion. If you are in any part of the legal system or any branch of the military or Government my dad knows you, your rank and your job description. He writes then all a personal letters and probably has your phone number. Bi golly they all respond and if they don’t he goes over their head. He forwards massive amounts of email daily, in all his years on line ( all the way back to webtv) I think he is not aware you can create or reply to an email, Forward is the only button he sees. The number of Countries he has been in or lived in dwarfs the number of cities or states that anyone I know has lived in. He gives EVERY kid that comes to his house a $1 bill EVERY time they come. It’s his thing, his trademark.
So Daddy, even though it took us 17 years to meet, and even though my only childhood vision of you was some black and white picture I found in a box. Even though you didn’t walk me down the isle, weren’t at my prom, didn’t come to any of my school plays or contests or games. I understand. The issues between you and Mom were complicated, and to be honest, I am not sure if you had been there while I was growing up if I would have appreciated you so much once I had you in my life. Chances are you will never see this post, but I hope and pray that every day you know how much I love you, not just on holidays.
Thank you Daddy, all my love,
( only he can call me that)