I've been having a lot of conversations lately about why I am the way I am. I've always been blessed by the men in my life. They are the standard by which I measure the men I date. And trust me when I say that to date me, you've got some pretty high standards to achieve.
He was determined that I would grow up to be a lady. He taught me the proper way to hold my silverware and how to wear my hats so I didn't get "cauliflower" ears. If it had an engine, he could fix it. His grease-stained t-shirts and green pants stick in my memory. Every time I had a chance, I'd make him cherry pie and take it to him. It was his favorite. What I wouldn't give to make him one more cherry pie and sit for a Sunday afternoon visit...
Some girls are lucky enough to be raised by their heroes. I know I was. This happy boy in this picture had more demons to deal with than he ever imagined. However, he taught his daughter what it means to be strong and to play the hand that Life deals you.
His teasing ways taught her to take a joke and enjoy the little things in life. He worked hard. I don't remember a time when Dad wasn't busting his ass for something. He, like Grandpa, could fix anything with an engine. He might have to cobble it every now and again, but he'd make it work. I can't begin to count the times when he'd call me and say, "I'm changing oil in the cars today. I may as well do yours while I'm at it." His knuckles were often scraped and bloody, his hands calloused. It couldn't be said he took the easy way out of anything.
And his sense of humor knew no end. One year, he made a "sponge" cake for the minister's wife. He frosted it with Cool Whip and made it quite pretty. We were having a dinner at the church that day and Dad carried it in with pride, telling her how he made it himself. The poor woman felt so bad as she tried cutting it with a butter knife. I remember Dad sitting there laughing so hard with tears streaming down his face. The minister's wife was so relieved to find the sponge under the whipped cream! She didn't want to hurt his feelings. Then, there was the year of the balloon cake. He blew up balloons, coated them with Cool Whip, and refrigerated it for his girlfriend's daughter. He was damn proud of himself! The girl cut into the cake and whipped cream flew everywhere! When it was all over, Dad was on the kitchen floor, laughing so hard he couldn't stand. (Yes, he did clean up the mess!) He loved to make people smile.
I've been told that I'm a Queen because I was raised at the knee of a King. Actually, I was raised at the knee of a couple of Kings. They were my heroes. They were the center of my world, even when they didn't know it. They were the first men I ever loved. They have both left this earthly realm and I miss them so much! They taught me what it means to be loved and to not accept anything less than I deserve. They were men among men and I am so blessed to be able to call them mine! Happy Father's Day!!