So today, I have two posts. See, my dad's birthday happens to land on mother's day this year. But both of my parents are special to me and I think they each deserve their own post :)
My dad is one of the most important people in my life and has definitely been one of the most influential as well. He has worked hard his whole life to become who he is today, and he worked hard as my dad to help mold me into who I am today.
As I mentioned a couple of posts ago when I posted his Tae Keuk Won Pictures, my dad wears a lot of hats in life. He is a lot of things to a lot of people. He is a lot of things to me... my boss, my pastor, my dad and my friend.
On my mom's birthday, I wrote 3 of my memories of her. So here are 3 of my memories of my dad.
1. When we moved to Southern California when I was 16, I was at a bad point in life. I was never a bad kid, but I had made some bad choices. I decided to tell my parents about them after we'd moved so that they could help me. My mom was very upset. My dad didn't say a word. For two days. Then he took me in his car on his way somewhere. This is what he said, "I get up every week and preach about second chances. Everyone deserves a second chance. Here's yours, don't mess it up." He never said another word about it. I realized then that my dad would always love me no matter what, and he would be there for me and forgive me and take me back... even when I didn't deserve it.
2. My mom and dad bought a brand new 1985 Red Mercury Topaz the year I was born. They couldn't fit both me and my dad's golf clubs in the car they had before, so it was time for an upgrade. As I grew up, that car became more and more special to me. I thought it was so cool that it was made the year I was born, but it also bonded my dad and me through the years. I started "helping" him wash it when I was really young... only about 4. It was my job to wash all of the black parts. What I didn't know at the time is that was because the black parts were all rubber and my 4 year old little hands would always drop the sponge. My dad didn't want me to scratch the paint with the rocks that would collect. But I loved to help my dad wash his car. It is also the car my dad spent hours and hours teaching me to drive in. It was a stick shift and I was determined to learn. Those days spent in the church parking lot, the rest area, and on the city roads are fond memories of mine. My dad was always patient in teaching me, and I think I'm a rather good driver today because of it (although my mom might disagree).
3. The day I moved out of my parents house was difficult. First when they took me to college. And again when I got married. But my dad let me go, both times, knowing that it was time for me to grow up and stand on my own two feet. Last year, he welcomed me back into his home when my life shattered into pieces. He was there for me any time of the day or night, checking on me, loving me, supporting me, and just being my dad. We had late night conversations when I would come home at 2am crying and he would still be awake. We had days of goofing off and ignoring life's problems. Life was hard at that point, and even though he had so many hats on all at once, he chose to take all of them off except one. My dad. At the time in my life when I needed my dad to be my dad the most... he was. He again allowed me to grow up and stand on my own two feet, but he loved me and backed me the entire way.
I am so grateful for a family that loves me and supports me. I am glad for a dad that is not only my dad, but my boss, my pastor and my friend. And as my mom always says, I am glad he is one year older and not dead!
I love you dad!
*The above pictures were taken at Disneyland on the Toy Story Ride (after I beat him mercilessly!), in Uluru Australia after having a luggage cart war, and on the Great Barrier Reef right before we went diving!*