He was a man of few words. Until he spoke. He gave good solid advice. He made sound decisions. He spoke with authority.
He was a man among men. He was a leader. Oh. He didn’t seek out leadership positions. They sought him. Whether it was the school board. The church board. The farm association board. He always ended up being the leader. He never said if he was comfortable in that position. But somehow those positions always found him. And he led well. He was respected and loved.
My dad loved to tease people. He would honk the horn at pretty women. Flirt with them. Joke with others. He had a nickname for most people.
He laughed when a prank caller insisted he was cheating on my mom. My mom didn’t laugh. He wasn’t cheating and they both knew it. He loved my mom with a fierce love. He was protective and watchful over her. To her dying day.
Daddy loved pears and hated iced tea. He always wanted a watermelon with candles for his birthday in July. Birthday cake was not good enough for this man.
I think back to my childhood years when life was carefree for me. They were years of hard work for him. I can picture him in his v-neck t-shirt, worn thin from years of wear. I can see him leaning against the kitchen door frame. Head thrown back in a hearty laugh. Oh. I can still hear that laugh.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
After sitting on a hot, noisy tractor all day, my dad liked to walk into a quiet house. Piano practice had to be over. The radio turned off. No noise. Just peace and quiet. That’s what he liked after a noise filled day.
Daddy loved his work. He’s the first man I ever knew who loved his job. Oh. It wasn’t a job. It was a lifestyle. It was hard work with few rewards and great sacrifice. It was farming. And it ran in his blood.
His heart attack forced retirement on him in his early 70’s. He never really bounced back from the open heart surgery. It made an old man out of him.
Every night before we went to bed, he would call us kids into the living room. He would pull out the Bible story book and open it. There we would sit and listen as he read a story to us. We read through that book many times over the years, with those stories engrained in our memory. Then we would kneel and pray as a family. Each night. Those prayers are engrained in my heart.
Oh. He wasn’t a perfect man. But he was the wisest, smartest and noblest man a girl could ever choose for a father. No. He didn’t play ball with us or take us out to eat. But he taught us a solid work ethic. He taught us to share what we had with others. He led by example.
I love the kind of man my dad was. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I chose a husband made from the same cloth. One who loves God. Loves his work. Has a great sense of humor. Makes solid decisions. A leader. An influencer. Well respected. Someone I wholeheartedly trust. That’s my kind of man.