dear daddy

I wanted to write you a letter this weekend, and three fatherly memories came immediately to mind.

The first was from when I was six or seven, in the Spring Forest house, and I was trying to figure out the square root of one. At dinner you taught me and Chris about square numbers and square roots, and you made some kind of game of asking us math questions about what you had explained. I’m pretty sure I could barely divide and it took a lot of mental guess-and-check to come up with the answers, and when you asked the square root of one, I thought I’d never figure it out because I didn’t know how to do decimals, but then I realized you wouldn’t have asked if I couldn’t find the answer. When I got it, you were so proud of me; all those games taught me to love math and science (which you never ever assumed I couldn’t do), but they also taught me I could solve problems for myself – but if I needed it you’d give me the barest hint to help me on my way.

I also remembered the only dating advice you ever gave me (you know I’ve had more than enough from mommy), before I left for homecoming when I was fifteen, and I tried so hard to impress upon you that it wasn’t really a date because these things are terribly important in tenth grade, but you made me sit and listen to you anyway. I was antsy and distracted and probably huffy but you knew I was listening, and you just told me in your simple way of dispensing advice that I should expect to be treated well. You have always told me this and you have loved my mother so well that I know instinctively, how men act towards me is not so much a matter of what I “think” I deserve as a measure of their character. I think you know, but I will tell you, past boyfriends always treated me with care and honor, and the few times that other men have disrespected me I have had no problem saying I will not be treated like that. I think that is entirely because of you.

The last thing was from this past week, after I’d read the Scriptures for the day and told God all the things I wanted in hopes I could put them aside. And I told him, I’m waiting for you, I’m not so good at not striving but I’m just waiting as best I can, which is something I pray a lot but far too often I drift immediately into thoughts of myself. But the upside, maybe the whole point, of loneliness is that I really, deeply, want to know God… And I heard, so thoroughly that it didn’t occur to me to question who was speaking, “delight in you.” And I saw me, flitting about this house trying to make something of myself, and I felt his amusement at my trying so hard but more than that, his deep happiness that I am who I am. And I cried for the rudeness of worrying and I cried for the joy of such an extravagant gift – but I never doubted or argued. I already know what it is to be delighted in, because you are in my life.

Daddy, you have done and been so much more as well, but in this season when I feel so adrift your (and mommy’s) love and regard have oriented me, reminding me that whatever ocean I’m in is wide, but overflowing with God’s love. And that is so precious. I have often wished I were a boy because this world has such a great need for fathers like you; and that is why I am putting such a personal letter on my silly blog. The world should know what it owes you, not for your patents or your pulled pork or your service at church but for your children. (Good thing I have a sibling or that would sound real conceited.)

The Lord has given a good gift to our family, and he is proud of you. I love you, pops.

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6 Comments

  1. Janice Graves

     /  June 17, 2012

    Lyndsey, what a beautiful letter to your dad. I think he is special too but then I’m a bit prejudiced. I love him the way he loves you. I guess that’s as it should be.

    Reply
  2. Shana Wirt

     /  June 17, 2012

    You made me cry! That was such a beautiful letter to your dad and you are very blessed to have him (and he is blessed to have you!) Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
  3. My heart is full.

    Since you left for college 4 years ago I have been somewhat jealous that I could not be part of your daily life, that I couldn’t be part of that circle of friends that shares so much of your day. But then I remember that God has given your Mommy and me a gift no one else has – the gift of being part of your life and seeing you grow for 22 years. What a true joy. I realize that everyone else should be jealous of me.

    You are cherished.

    Reply
  4. Jacqueline in Atlanta

     /  June 18, 2012

    LJ – That is beautiful. I can tell you this: your daddy is THE best daddy in the whole wide world. He nearly bugged me to death to have babies and when we did, he was the proudest papa in the hospital. He will always err on the side of indulgence when it comes to you two. He will also be the best grand pappy in the world . . . someday. 😉

    Reply

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