I did not grow up with many role models.  I guess because I did not have to.  I lived with one every single day for about 18 years.  He is man of few words. I do believe it is a generational thing.  However, I always knew where I stood with him.  I liked/like that.  Thinking back, his approval meant the world to me.  His disapproval, well…

He taught me to have a backbone and to stand up for myself.  He taught me to work hard.  He taught me to be professional and that honesty is always the best policy.  He taught me there is nothing wrong with getting your hands dirty.

He taught me how to respect people from all walks of life.  He taught me to be a leader.  He taught me that actions speak louder than words.  He taught me how to ride a bike, throw a softball, and shoot a basketball.  He ‘appreciated’ my flute music.

He never missed a sporting event, a band concert, or an assembly.  I always knew that family was top on his list.  Oh, the aspirin that he must have taken to get through the junior high years…

I have many great memories.  One sitting at a soda counter in Alabama.  We were there to attend the funeral of his brother.  We were about to take our shift at the funeral home as the family representatives.  Before that, Dad took me to an old diner.  It was right out of an old 50’s movie.  We sat there and talked.  I had the pleasure of listening to stories about him growing up.  It will be hands down the best hour of my life with him.

Another one was my college graduation.  My parents bought a ‘new’ video camera for the occasion.  It was a great moment when we played it back and for about 30 minutes we had the pleasure of viewing a balded head.  It was the person sitting in front of my parents.  My Dad forgot to turn the camera off after I walked across the stage.  I do not think they ever used that camera again.

Oh, the spaghetti and the bar-b-que he can whip up.  But, if you want to talk about mouthwatering, savor every single bit as you gain about 200 pounds, my favorite will always be his ice cream.  Each summer I long for that treat.  And each time I come, he makes it!!!  (Remember I will be back in about 6 weeks!!!)

He does have his faults, as we all do.  One being his love of Auburn.  Never understood it!  At least he is ‘coming’ around to the Aggies!  Second would be his love for banana pudding.  Gross!

I have counted my blessings (ok, not in junior high… but who does!) knowing I have been lucky enough to have a Dad like him.  I’m sure that my siblings would agree that some of the greatest life lessons we have learned, came from Dad allowing us to be who we are.

Happy Birthday to a truly great man!  Hope you enjoy your ‘yucky’ banana pudding!