My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.” Clarence Budington Kelland
The first man you ever love is your dad. I love mine. I have memories and pictures of cuddles, camping, swimming, books, laughing, and endless wrestling tournaments. My dad is the most ethical man I know. It’s my strongest memory of watching him as a child. He coached and taught with fairness and never cheated. He instilled that in us as his children but also the hundreds of students he impacted as a coach. Over and over I watched his athletes look at him in a fatherly way. He coached them on the mat as a wrestling coach but taught them so much more about life, winning and losing.
I can remember walking around with him at tournaments feeling so cool I could go with him and loved how he spoke to people. He just has this way with people that is honest but respectful. I can remember watching someone walk away once with a smile but realising he had just told her no to a desperate request and told her she was pretty much wrong and out of place for even asking. Yet, like I said she walked away with a smile. He just has this way with people.
I remember my first heart break and his compassion and joking that made me laugh through the tears. I remember the time I called because I rear ended someone after a horrible day at work. His response was laughter and reminding me that life just happens sometimes. That speaks so much to my personality.
Watching him father my husband as a father in law has been one of my most favourite things to witness. He loves and accepts and cheers for him. He believes in him and steadfastly and patiently loves him. I love that my husband has had my experience of a father.
He’s simply one of my greatest heroes. Quiet and confident. Loving and humorous. The original duck dynasty character before the famous show. He is one of my favourite people in the world to talk to. He always answers slowly and without judgement. I’m blessed to know him and over the top happy to call him dad. I love you dad! Happy Birthday!!