Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Inspiration Comes From Everywhere

On my way to work this morning I was thinking about what to write today. I mean, I was totally paying attention to the road and the other idiots, too but I can think and drive at the same time. Sometimes.

Anyway. I was reminiscing about our dinner last night and was there anything amusing that transpired that would be worth repeating? Perhaps when Maddy was trying to figure out what UR2SLW stood for on a license plate in her Hot Wheels coloring book and Sugar said "it's something your mom says when she's driving" and I had a brief moment of panic that Maddy would start hllering obscenities and gesturing rudely but she didn't. Thank Gawd. I like that restaurant and would hate to be banned from their awesome chimicangas.

I also had called to my dad last night and usually there's some funny stories from those conversations, but all we talked about was saws and drills and concrete and the other stuff I need for my fence he's helping me with this weekend.

Neither of those topics would be enough. I mean, my readers expect a certain standard of material when they come here. *snort*

And then, the heavens opened and the angels sung and some dumbass pulled over into my lane right in front of me with a license plate that read DADYSGL .

Well, cut off my legs and call me Shorty because lookie there - inspiration for a post today.

Let's talk about daddy's girls.

I will be 40 next week but I am still a daddy's girl. My mom used to discipline me but when my dad got involved I knew my life was all over. I could drive my mom nuts all day long and never give it a second thought but I was devasted if I disappointed my dad. I still try not to disappoint him. He says I'm not but...ahem. Moving on.

He's the one I call when I need to know how much concrete to buy for 11 fence posts, when my electrical outlets stop working (GFI reset button - hello?), when I open a beer at 9:00 in the morning at the NASCAR race, when I need to know some randow trivia fact, when I'm having a minor meltdown, and when I just want to know what's going on with him.

He is an awesome PaPa. He built Jessica a rocking horse when she was a baby, and he customized it to add a recessed seat with a strap so that she could sit in it while she was a baby, then he planned to cover the opening when she was older so she could ride it like a real rocking horse. He built me shelves for Kelli's room, and he took Maddy to go get more sand for her sandbox when he used it all up to mix concrete. He built them a playground in his yard, complete with a seesaw and swings. He almost bought them a merry-go-round when they tore down the old elementary school. He taught them math with poker and dice. He gave them half-empty cans of spray paint so they could run amok in the woods and paint the trees. Maddy still asks to paint trees when we go to his house.

He taught me how to change a tire, check my oil and replace the head gasket on my car. He taught me to swear in Spanish. He taught me how to shoot a shotgun and how to stack wood. He taught me how to drive a backhoe and how to water-ski.

He taught me to play the Tennessee Waltz on the piano and how to fake a waltz with a two-step. He taught me fractions with his socket wrench set.

But the best lessons weren't spoken - they were by letting me watch and learn and do. He never told me to move or get out of the way so he could do it. If I bent the nail, he'd yank it out and tell me to try again. When I'd smack my thumb he said "I bet that hurt! Now hit the nail and it won't hurt so bad."

I never want to hear his voice sound like it did when I called and told him Jessica and Kelli were dead. I never want to have to say "daddy I need you" like that again. He stood next to me while my daughters were buried and he let me cry on him, even though his heart was breaking, too.

That's the most valuable lesson he taught me - family is the most important thing you have. You may be mad because they ran over your chain saw, or broke a door, or need money, but you never stop loving them.

8 comments:

Michelle said...

I will send the goat and root beer this weekend! Thanks for checking me out.

MamaB said...

Kim,
What a great post! You brought back many fond memories for me.

I too was a daddy's girl. I hated dissappointing my Dad, the look in his eyes when I did something wrong just tore me up! When he had a massive stroke in Sept. of 2002, I can't tell you how awful it was to see such a strong man become so helpless in a weekend. I would work all week, leave Mizzou on Saturday night and spend all day Sunday with him at the hospital. When he finally passed in October 2005 I was devastated, like you my Dad showed me how to work on the car, paint the house, BBQ ribs, he was the first person I sat with and drank a beer while watching a Cards game and listening to Jack Buck on the radio. I miss him everyday, especially now that I have a daughter of my own. I can only hope that my daughters relationship with my husband is half as good as mine was with my Dad.

mn said...

i was not a daddy's girl, neither one really. i was close to my mom though. my dad was the disciplinarian in the house!
what an awesome dad you have. and i can't imagine the pain he's had to suffer not only losing his granddaughters but to see his daughter go thru so much pain. no parent wants that.
he sure taught you a lot. bless his heart.

Andrea said...

Thank God for your dad. It's good to have someone like him around for repair questions and to paint trees, but it's critical for getting through the loss you've suffered. What a blessing of a man.

CandyGram said...

What a lovely post, Kim. And what a wonderful tribute to your Dad.

Although I think about my Dad regularly, your post made me realize just how much I do miss him.

Jennifer said...

I like the new look on your site!

That sounds like me talking..."some dumbass pulled over into my lane..." AHAHAHA!

Your post was so inspirational and then you made me cry when I read the last part.

YOU are an inspiration through your blog. Thanks!

MP said...

I'm a daddy's girl too..I'm 41 Dad is 87.. This post made me so proud yet so sad...
Time isn't on his side..but I have beautiful memories...and we're still making them...

Awesome post!!

Jaelithe said...

What a great dad.