Before you read any further, click the play button below to start the song. There will be a pop-up window, so do not freak out. I had to get the song to play somehow, and its only fitting that it does so while I am writing this and you are reading this.
This song always makes me think of my dad - a good ol' boy who is also a man's man...the Bass Master, the Great White Hunter, part MacGyver (minus the mullet), part Jeremiah Johnson (minus the vendetta and furry outerwear), part Jeff Foxworthy (minus the merchandise), part Skynard's Simple Man (minus the guitar riff) and part either of the Duke Boys of Hazzard County (minus the moonshine) all rolled into one dude who takes to the pulpit every Sunday morning.
I can only imagine his surprise when he became the father of not one, but TWO little bitty girls all at once. Two little bitty girls who liked nail polish and ribbons and Barbies and stuffed animals. Two little bitty girls scared of spiders and snakes and the Dark. Two little bitty girls who liked the boys and the dates and the Proms and went to college. It could have been a lot worse and included tutus and tiaras and severe reactions to dirt, but I know for a fact somewhere along the way, he (and Mom) made sure "girly" or "princess" were/are never adjectives anyone could use to describe his girls (per se) and that standing on our own two (plus two) feet was a challenge we both could rise to with a little grace and elbow grease. Sister packs heat and I play in the dirt, after all. To be the recipient of the incredible patience it takes to be the father of girls, I have been blessed.
All grown up now....my dad walked me down the aisle and choked back his own fatherly emotions to pronounce me the Mrs. H. to a Mr. H. My dad listened patiently, without judgment, when I told him that Everything Had to Change Now. He carried my last box of a Broken Up Life to the moving van and drove me South where the Super Glue of Family and the Desert might fix me.
Nearly three months in, I am sitting today at the end of a long week. Tired, frustrated, and feeling defeated and low in the Tank of Patience and Hope. Reverting to childlike fear of the Dark and Unknown. Worried about the possibility of meeting more Snakes and Spiders. Wondering if I only get that One Date. One Prom. One Chance.
Unexpectedly this afternoon I got an email from my dad. In the midst of his own chaotic and stressful life, he just wanted to remind me simply: "this will pass...it always does." I sat at my desk and cried for a few minutes, which breaks a few of my self imposed rules about public displays of emotion. But it was alright this time. My dad always knows the right thing to say, even if he didn't know I needed him to say it.
To be my father's daughter...yep. I am blessed.