for my dad
2005-02-06 @ 12:00 a.m.
Having sucessfully circled the sun for fifty-eight years as of today, my father has led quite a life. If I was some sort of writer or maybe even worked in the entertainment industry, I could very easily make an inspirational comedy-drama-sci-fi film about him. It would detail his low-income upbringing in Ft. Worth, his short time in the Marines, putting himself through eight different colleges, providing a home for his wife and three children, starting his own company, and oh yeah, defeating evil space alien-androids. Because, let's face it, no good movie lacks robots of some sort. Or pirates. Or pirate-aliens. Anyway, above all that, the most important thing he accomplished was help raise chickie-legs. (Since this is my diary, my dad's story will be from my perspective, so deal)
All parents, well all people, have their faults. Their 'vices' as my dad says. All children at one point take a real un-biased look at their parents for the people that they are. Not just 'Mom and Dad'. As a child I would always run to my daddy and sit on his lap. There was no safer place. I would put his hands in mine and be in awe of how strong they were, how he could protect me. As I grew older, as girls tend to do, I grew apart from my dad. Being a teenager is always diffulcult, especially when you are a bi-polar chickie-legged middle-child left-handed goober.
Sometimes I look back at those years and laugh and cry at the stupid things that I did. The things I did to get attention. The things I did to not get attention. The things I did to not be 'crazy' anymore. My parents were always there with me, holding me, trying to figure out why I would cry for no reason, why I was so determined to die and how to "make it all better". I can't imagine what it is like to have a child that no matter what you do, is miserable. I wish I could tell them how much I appreciated their love and support and how it really has nothing to do with them.
I always assumed their love was required. This is what their purpose in life was; to support us, to be there for us no matter what. It's not until I went away to college, moved out of the house, and met new people that I realize this isn't always the case. Parents aren't always there to hold you and tell you that "it's going to be ok" after you swallow a bottle of zoloft and end up in the hospital. Sure they didn't understand me, but that doesn't mean they stopped loving. As a kid some of the most important things to you are how many presents you get compared to your brother and sister, how much your allowance is and how big your room is. It's not until you mature a little bit that you realize that the 'lectures' dad gave you all your life might have been boring and repetitive, but they had good intentions, and ultimately served a better purpose than presents and money. We'd always joke that school didn't stop once we got home. We'd prepare ourself for the daily speech from dad. We'd mimic his cliche's and his anecdotes. But at least he was talking to us. And although I hate to admit it, a lot of it was true. He always harped on the idea of 'finding your passion'. This was quite frustrating during high school because I couldn't find it. I'd pray that I would miraculously figure out what I wanted to do in my life. All of my friends somehow knew exactly what they were born to do. They were all accepted to good universities and colleges. I didn't even apply to one college my senior year. I was told that I was going to the nearby community college and was living at home. It wasn't because I was stupid or had bad grades, but because they didn't trust me on my own. I hated it, but they were right. (A common theme, unfortunately)
Since my dad put himself through school, and worked for everything he has, he wanted to give us everything he didn't have growing up. He paid for my college, he paid for my car, and he paid off my credit cards a few times. I thought this was normal. Of course, now I realize it is not. Sometimes I would lie to people and tell them that I paid for college and my car so they wouldn't think that I was 'spoiled'. I don't think I turned out to be spoiled, I think I just finally understand all that he and mom has done for us. Although I don't agree with everything my dad does...I am glad that he is finally doing something for himself. After successfully raising three relatively mature children, he quit his secure job of 20+ years, took a risk and started his own company. I wish him all the luck in the world. As he often boasts, he is embarking on a huge and risky journey at the same age other people would be retiring.
Though our family has certainly had our issues, our faults and "differences of opinion", in the end we stick together. Some of my most vivid memories of my dad aren't always of the 'bad times' as he assumes. I fondly remember him singing 'You are So Beautiful To Me' when I was young, I remember sitting in his lap, playing catch in the back yard and the occassional fishing trip. He always attended my softball games, cheerleding games, gymnastics and band concerts. Even though I was always way out in left field (literally), he supported me. To this day, he reads my diary everytime I update. He is probably my biggest fan. This is obviously the reason behind this entry. I hope I didn't make too much of an ass out of myself, but I just wanted him, and whoever reads this to know that I do love you Dad. I hope you have a very happy birthday, and I will be over the house later to watch the game and celebrate what will be, the year of the Moss. "Moss' are the Best! Moss' are the Best!"