It wasn’t hard to see how much my Dad enjoyed being the father of girls. He was the epitome of a southern gentleman with an added dose of humor. Unconditional love oozed from his pores. While he was confused and even frustrated at my lack of interest or skill at math especially Algebra, he was the first one to mentor me on my strengths versus my weakness. He was the one that bailed me out of the sticky situations that I would occasionally fall into, always with a reassuring word.
While everyone was emotional when Bailey was born, I don’t remember my father being phased. That was the essence of who he was……accepting of every situation with a very open heart. He was tickled that we chose to name our first born after him. When Bryce was born, he was one of the first people to hold him. Right then, I knew their bond would be unique.
My father was nicknamed “Lazarus” because he would arrive at death’s door, only to decide that he wasn’t ready to leave the living. When he lost his leg, his resilience and strength amazed me while his humanness spoke to my heart. He rallied in time to see me receive my Masters degree- after a twelve year stint getting my undergraduate degree. He had an extreme amount of patience with my slow educational process.
With all of his greatness, he was human. He struggled as we all do and taught me accountability. While this is one of many Father’s Days that I have been without him, I have to remember that his legacy lives on through my boys. The beauty of a love that deep is that I have no regrets. When he passed away in 2005, I was there. I watched him leave this world in a manner so befitting of him. There will always be a piece of my heart missing, but today I feel more full than empty.