My dad sent me the cutest e-card ever. I love my dad.
Let me tell you a little about him. My dad used to read to me all the time when I was a kid. So much so that I was already reading by the time I got to kindergarten. My brother and I used to lay outside under the chaise lounge when my dad would catch a few rays (which is bad now ... bad!). There are numerous photos of my brother and I huddled together underneath the chaise lounge, with my dad oblivious to our presence beneath him.
My dad was an amazing father when I was in high school. I was a weird kid - I liked to shave the sides of my head, dye my hair all sorts of colors, spike it all up like Robert Smith, wear lots of eyeliner, lots of black, and lots of weird spider-themed jewelry. My dad's reaction? As long as I got good grades and followed his rules, he didn't care what color my hair was, or how many times I pierced my ears.
My curfew on the weekend was 2 a.m., and I had a car when I was 16. Those were amazing freedoms for a teenager, but they were borne out of the trust he had in me, and that I had earned.
My dad instilled in me a love of knowledge. My dad sent me money every month when I was in college so I could have my own apartment without needing to have a part-time job. He took out loans so I could focus on getting my degree and earning a high grade-point average, because he knew those things were going to be important when I entered the world of work.
My dad taught me one of the most important lessons I have ever learned - it is better to be respected than liked, if one must choose between the two. That belief has never steered me wrong, and I think about it often.
My dad helped me beat cancer. The only time I have heard my dad cry was when I called him on the phone to tell him that I had Hodgkin's disease. But he was unfailingly positive during my treatment, and especially after treatment, when I was so, so sick from the side effects of chemo - sicker than I ever felt from the actual cancer - and would question whether or not I was ever going to feel like a normal person again. He helped me embrace the concept of a "new normal," which was what I was going to have. And he was right.
My dad has always been willing to listen to me vent, or cry, or just question the world around me. He's always been there to give me advice. I don't always take it, but I love the fact that I know that I can always go to him for a wise opinion about almost any issue.
One of my favorite memories of my dad was when we were having a discussion about gun control. He asked me, "Do you favor gun control?" And I said, "It depends on what you mean by 'gun control'."
My dad said, "Julie, I respect you so much for saying that." That is, for not following some blind definition of the concept, but for questioning it.
I think that's one of the things I like most about myself - my desire to question the world around me.
I got that from my dad.Posted by Highwaygirl on December 11, 2003 07:59 PM to the category Family