My Dad is a Giver, he is one of the most giving people I know.  As I have grown up he has constantly battled to balance family, work, and everything in between, like most father's do, but it was never a question who came first.  When I was growing up, my Father was always there to laugh with me, hold me when I was upset, to give advice, to tickle me out of a bad mood, to hold my hand through a migraine, and to walk me down the aisle. My Dad is a Provider.  During college, I would undoubtedly find a $20 bill in my pocket, or bag on my way back to school.  Whenever someone in my family mentions something they like, it inevitably finds it's way to them on their birthday or Christmas.   Beyond providing for me, giving me food and shelter, my Dad gave me his undivided attention and his unconditional love.  There was never a doubt in my mind that when I called at 3:30 AM to cry about breaking up with my boyfriend in college (who was actually Speed Racer, but as you see everything worked out) that Dad would pick up the phone and listen.  He was there through countless ER visits, boyfriends, travels, track meets, bad grades, and migraines.

My Dad is also a teacher.  He taught me how to tie my shoes, he taught me to spell, he taught me to drive and to drive a manual, he taught me public speaking, he taught me to believe in the Deep Magic,  but most of all he taught me how to love others.  My Dad gives beyond himself to his family, friends, and church members.  And I have striven to be like him.  He gave me the tools to build a home, to nurture a marriage, to raise our future children, and to love those around me.  He taught me that love matters most of all.

But above all my Dad is MY Dad.  I could not ask for a more loving, devoted, giving, teaching Father.  I am reminded, especially now that I live farther away, each time that I see his wonderful smile or hear his hearty truly blessed I am.  Happy Father's Day Daddy.

(Photos provided by Fred Bowman, Emily McAlpine, Barbara Heckman, and some unknown family member...most likely my Mom)

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