Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dear God, Thank You for my Daddy

You know, most of the time it seems that Father's Day tends to fall by the wayside. It comes trailing in behind Mother's Day, and seems a lot people forget it. Or maybe that's just me. I knew Father's Day was coming up, buuut . . . well, I thought I had another week. So, I did it again. I forgot Father's Day. But I haven't anymore. So Daddy, I hope you're listening, because this is for you.

My dad is a Servant.

When you take a peek into my home, most of the time you'll see just my mom, my brother and sister, and me. My dad doesn't come home at 6 o'clock like most dads. And when he does get to come home, he almost always still has more work to do. Not because he's a workaholic. But because he is a servant. Not a servant like the people who go around catering to rich people. Well, he probably deals with rich people, but that's not the point. My dad is a servant. Every morning, my dad gets up long before I wish to be (sometimes as early as 5 am), showers, gets dressed, and goes to work. Every evening, my dad gets home usually around 7 or if it's been a really long day, 8. By now, you're probably thinking, what on earth does this man do for a living??

He's a Doctor.
My dad spends every day caring for people. He saves people's lives. He works hard for what often seems like little gratitude. My dad works as a small-town family practice doctor, so it's not like he rakes in a huge monetary profit either. That's what bugs me a lot. People think my family is rich, but it's not true. And even if we were, I would know that my dad worked for every cent. He works hard to give every single one of his patients the best care possible. He writes up each of their charts painstakingly making sure all the information is accurate. When he is on call, he will meet his ill patients at the office when it is closed to save them an expensive trip to the ER.

But his attitude of servitude does not stop at work. It continues at home.

Several years after my sister was born, my mom had a lot of surgeries to remove tumors. My dad made sure my siblings and I always had a place to stay, somewhere to go when even he couldn't be there for us. He took care of us whenever he was able to get leave from work, taking us to school and church, making our meals, and tucking us in at night.

Every morning, before my mom had her surgeries, and after as well, he would come in my room, already in his military uniform, to wake me up for school. Whenever he had a day off, he would pick us up from school. Now that we homeschool, he can't do that anymore. But whenever any of us kids has trouble with something, he's always willing to help. I can remember when I was struggling with Algebra, he would sit at the kitchen counter with me, walking me through the steps of each formula, making sure I understood every problem. He jumps at the chance to help us with science labs. He's eager to expound our knowledge of history beyond our classes. Whenever we are sick, or busy with school or an activity, my dad often does one or even all of our chores, without one complaint.

My dad is a Teacher.

My dad has worked hard every day for over 16 and a half years to make sure that I am always learning. He instilled in me my hunger for learning, my curiosity for history, my interest in technology, my sense of humor and most importantly, my fire for God. He takes every opportunity he can to teach us about anything and everything. The history channel is the most frequently used channel on our television, our bookshelves are loaded with every book on every period in history. He subscribes to Popular Science and Popular Mechanics and is always very happy when he sees one of us kids thumbing through the latest issue. He has a crazy sense of humor and has taught me (although I still have much to learn) to laugh at myself. But, most importantly, he has taught me the importance of fearing God. From day 1, he has used every opportunity he can to teach me about God's love and grace and mercy. My dad was there the night I accepted Christ. He makes sure the family is at church every Sunday, and that us kids pay attention in church.

My dad loves.

This may sound weird, but all I've said so far would mean nothing if my dad didn't do it with love. Because if he didn't love, there would be no reason for him to do all he's done. And he probably wouldn't. But my dad does love. He loves my mom and my siblings. He loves his patients. Most importantly, he loves God. On his Facebook, in his "About Me" section, he states it perfectly: "I am first, foremost, and unappologetically a Christian. Second a husband and father. Third a Family Medicine Physician. Those are my top 3 priorities. Everything else is secondary." My was the one who really pushed for our Disney World trip in 2007, because he knew he wouldn't be able to be home much for a whole month afterward. He punishes me and my siblings whenever we do wrong, because he loves us too much to watch us do wrong. He loves my mom so much. I see it everyday. My parents have truly followed that line in the wedding vows that says "For better or for worse". They have seen the worst and the best of times. But their love has held out through it all.

Daddy, there is so much more I could write here. How you rejoiced when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. How you were the first person to ever place a gun in my hands and teach me how to shoot. How you have hugged me as I sobbed tears of pain. How you have celebrated with me my every victory. How you've taught me about politics. How you can always find a way to make me laugh. How you've never stopped loving me, even when I was the least lovable. And I still wouldn't be done. Thank you so much for everything that you've done for me, Mom, Robbie, and Emma. I am so glad that God made you my dad. Because any other dad just wouldn't do. I love you Dad. Love, Ro-Ro

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