My Daddy and Me

It’s been said time and time again, that I was my father’s son. Raised as a tomboy from as early as I can remember, I think it’s very fitting.

From stories passed down from members of my family, I’ve been told all about how happy my dad was to have a child. When I was really little, under the age of 4, my dad used to put me in this hiking pack and strap me over his shoulders to take me out coon hunting with him and his hounds. As I got older, I would go with them as often as I could. My Uncle’s would come along too and I have so many memories of the “boys” time we used to spend out in the dark while listening to the bawl of a hound on the trail of it’s prey. I remember being fascinated to do everything my Dad did. If he was target practicing, I wanted to do it too. If he was working on cars, I wanted to help. If he went to the farm, I had to go. When my Dad was around, it didn’t really matter, I wanted to be there.

I wish I had copies of the photos with me at age two, holding a wrench and kneeling beside my Dad in a bright yellow sundress while he worked on his little Ford Fiesta. I really wish I had photos of me standing at age 5 while I climbed on a split rail fence cheering my Dad’s hounds on while they swam at a water race. I wish I had photos of us dressed in camo to go out squirrel hunting at age 6.

All the greatest lessons in my life have come from my Dad. He taught me to always work hard and to not expect much out of life. He taught me how to raise chickens for eggs and meat. He taught me how to fish and hunt so that no matter what I would never go hungry. He taught me to respect my elders and do everything I could for them, even if it meant me going without. He taught me how to drive. He taught me how to go mud bogging and how to shift a standard transmission. He taught me how to treat people with kindness, no matter what their status. He also taught me that you are never too old to learn. In my adult life, many of the things I enjoy have come from my time spent with my Dad. I can clean a fish, skin and process game for the freezer, fix my own vehicle and to laugh at all the odd, stupid and dumb things that happen in life.

My Dad never had much. He worked a third shift job, helped on the farm and still worked odd and end jobs all summer long but he always found the time to do things with me when I was little. I learned to enjoy the peacefulness of a foggy morning waiting for the fish to bite. I learned that no matter what life dishes out, it could always be worse.

I don’t get to see my Dad anymore. No he isn’t in Heaven (although I know someday that’s where he will be). Due to extenuating circumstances and a situation that neither of us control, I don’t get to spend time with him anymore. We have both made an extremely difficult decision that we need to stay apart to make his life better. It hurts more than words will ever be able to describe.

He is and always be my best friend and my hero. No man will ever be able to fill his shoes in my life. I wouldn’t even attempt to try because NO ONE is like my Dad. For now, I sit back and remember the good times and I shed tears more than I care to admit. It’s hard, especially on days like today. I wish I could wrap my arms around him and tell him thank you for not only being such a wonderful Dad but a great person. I look at this one photo I have of us from the only time we ever danced together. I remember the song we dance to so I’ll share the video too.

Daddy, I hope that you can feel the love I hold in my heart for you! Thank you for being my everything to me my entire life. I will be forever grateful for every moment we had the chance to spend together. And don’t tell anyone okay…but I know and you know I will forever be “Daddy’s girl”!

The lyrics to Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn

I remember Daddy´s hands, folded silently in prayer.
And reaching out to hold me, when I had a nightmare.
You could read quite a story, in the callouses and lines.
Years of work and worry had left their mark behind. 
I remember Daddy´s hands, how they held my Mama tight,
And patted my back, for something done right.
There are things that I’ve forgotten, that I loved about the man,
But I’ll always remember the love in Daddy’s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’.
Daddy’s hands, were hard as steel when I’d done wrong.
Daddy’s hands, weren’t always gentle 
But I’ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy’s hands.

I remember Daddy’s hands, working ’til they bled.
Sacrificed unselfishly, just to keep us all fed.
If I could do things over, I’d live my life again.
And never take for granted the love in Daddy’s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’.
Daddy’s hands, were hard as steel when I’d done wrong.
Daddy’s hands, weren’t always gentle 
But I’ve come to understand.
There was always love in Daddy’s hands.

Daddy’s hands were soft and kind when I was cryin’.
Daddy’s hands, were hard as steel when I’d done wrong.
Daddy’s hands, weren’t always gentle 
But I’ve come to understand.
There was always love …..
In Daddy’s hands.

Mother’s Day Reflections

Today is a day full of reflection for me. A day when I won’t get to celebrate something I wish I could because it’s been ripped from my grasp. While others are praising their mom’s for doing a great job…I am contemplating what I don’t have with my own.

I have never once heard the verbal words from either of my parent’s that they loved me. I was never allowed to snuggle into my mother’s lap when I was a kid. I was called names, made fun of and shoved away. I always swore I would be a better mom than that. Those opportunities were taken against my will in 2006. Today for me isn’t a day of celebration about my  mother or being a mom. I don’t get that chance. Instead today is about burying the hatred for manipulation, abuse and loneliness.

Mother’s Day for me is about letting go of the past and moving forward to a new day. Not all of the people in the world have been fortunate enough to have the perfect situation and upbringing. Some of us don’t have Mothers who supported us into our own personal growth. We didn’t have Mothers who hugged us through our failures or gently wiped our tears of despair.

That doesn’t mean that we aren’t thinking about all that could have been. Can we change it? Nope, we can’t because it’s not us that needs to change. Some mothers (and fathers too) just aren’t model, idealistic parents. Some just don’t want to be and other’s aren’t given the chance.

To those that are struggling today with not being given that chance, keep this in mind. Out there somewhere in the Universe, no matter what religion (if any) you are, someone in the big wide complex dimension of what we call Life, hears what is in your heart. Even if you don’t speak it through you lips or put ink to paper, I have faith that a higher power listens. Someday, somehow the world will right itself within your corner and you will get the chance to vocalize those thoughts within your head and heart. It might only be through blog pages or it could just be through a diary but someday, somewhere you will have the chance to share the hurt, pain and sadness. It’s why I’m writing this now.

Don’t be ashamed of situations out of your control. We need to learn to express, cope and move on. Know that you are not alone. There are more of us that do not celebrate Mother’s Day than you can imagine. Be fearless, speak your heart and hold nothing back. Let the offenders of wrong-doing wallow in their own self-pity because someday, you will still be standing strong surrounded by those you love while others will be alone and empty. Know that you are expressing yourself to get out from behind the walls of hurt and betrayal. Know that there is NOTHING wrong with you, unless you let someone else control your thoughts and your destiny. The power is yours! Say ENOUGH, express to the world the hurt and pain inside yourself.

Most of all, KNOW that you are LOVED by others just because of SHARED pain, heartache and tragedy. Wrap yourself in the smiles and laughter of friends. Surround yourself in the happy!

To all you Mom’s out there: Never take for granted the opportunity to show your love. Never pass on a hug. Show your children every chance you get to show them how much of your heart they hold.