I am spoiled.
Completely and entirely loved and doted on by the men in my life.
I am lucky.
I know this without a doubt.
Every girl loves their father in ways that no one can ever understand but you and your father. He is the first love of your life. He gave you life. He is there to protect you. Provide for you. Support you. Punish you. Congratulate you. Push you. But most of all...LOVE YOU. My father has and does all of these things, even now that I am an adult.
He showed me what I should expect from a man in the way that he treated my mother. He taught me how to be one of the guys (he has 3 daughters, no sons), while being his girly girl. He made sure that I was tough and could take care of myself, all while being able to let others in to help me take care of myself. He loved me even when I was doing everything in my power to drive him insane. He was always there when it mattered most. But most of all...I have always known his love for me.
He's never said the words out loud, that is how he was raised...to show as little affection as possible. And while he never was the touchy feely kind, I could always count on his strong calloused hands to catch me when I fell. It might have been a ride on the tractor versus a hug and soft words...but I knew...without an ounce of doubt that he was there for me. If a boy broke my heart, I could count on Daddy needing me to ride along with him in the truck with the windows down listening to AC/DC, as a means to mend what he couldn't fix. Even if I wasn't really needed as a tag along.
Good man doesn't begin to describe my father.
A good man loves his wife and family...but my father is devoted to my mother and his family, even more so now that he has grand-kids. After 31 years of marriage, there is no lesser a gleam in his eye when he looks at her, then there was on any day I can remember back to. He does what he can to make sure she has all she needs, and what she wants when he can. He has gone without, on countless occasions, to make sure our family was provided for. He worked day and night, hard back-breaking labor, to give us the necessary comforts in life. And now his body is turning on him for it. And it kills us to see him hurt.
As I sit and watch he and my mother grow older, I have started to realize just how amazing of parents they were. As children we take for granted all they do, because it is their job, and children are selfish. But as an adult, and as a mother, I know what he sacrificed for us. He sacrificed his body to years of hard work, to give us a home. He sacrificed his alone time, to spend time with us. He sacrificed things he wanted, for things we needed. He sacrificed his heart, to give us all his love.
That is a good man.
I could sit here all day and tell you of all the amazing things he did, but to me the most important thing he did was show me the love that I deserve from a man, not only for myself, but my children as well. I found that love. I found the good man that he lead by example to teach me to find.
I could sit here all day and tell him how much I love him, and appreciate all of the things he has done for our family, but I will never find the right words or enough words to say what he deserves to hear.