My daddy was a joy-filled man. He laughed often and he laughed well and whether you intended to or not, you laughed with him. He was full of corny jokes and knock-knock funnies. He could find the good in any circumstance and always did. If you knew him, you loved him.
Whatever he did, he did it enthusiastically and with might. He worked hard and he loved his work. He was strong and tender, hearty and full of heart.
He never knew a stranger. He could make a friend in 30 seconds, and so his life was filled with friends. He smiled at every person, joked with most of them, and would give the shirt off his back to any of them.
He loved music and music filled his life. He played guitar and harmonica and used his voice to sing of life and faith and God.
He loved his family. I was his 8th child, born when he was 46 years old, but I could have been his first. I never felt like he was too tired to be my daddy. He always had a squirrel or bunny story or a switched-up, never-the-same fairy tale. His was the voice that I heard at the end of each day, his delightful stories filling my heart with wonder.
He loved his Savior. His simple faith in God carried him through life’s storms. He was never so full of joy as when he was singing of God’s promises and his future in heaven. He found those promises to be true, and I know he’s still singing, still joyful, his faith made sight.
They say you marry someone like your father, and it must be true. One of the first things I loved about my husband was his sense of humor. He makes me laugh. We share a lot of stories, and all of them are better because of him and his ability to make me smile. We have laughed until we cried and cried until we laughed.
No one works harder than he does. He works long hours and still comes home to help. He is always chopping wood or working on the lawn or fixing some broken thing. He has no hobbies besides us. He enjoys the things he has to do anyway–his woodpile and his garden and loving his family.
He is a good father. He loves babies and noise and laughter. He is not frightened by chaos or life or teenagers. His joy is in leading and serving those he loves. He is always selfless, always giving. His favorite place is home, and we are his favorite people.
He cherishes me. He has seen me at my worst, but somehow he believes in my best. I would love to be the person he sees, the person he thinks I am. After all these years, he still makes my heart flutter. He is my best friend, my love, my heart.
His is a gentle strength, and he is as steady as they come. I am often surprised by his insight, always rebuked by his faith. He trusts God. He knows Him and he believes in Him and he has found Him to be true. He is always looking up, always taking my hand and helping me look up.
These two men have been God’s good gifts to me. I have been loved and stretched and blessed by knowing them. I am thankful to call them mine.
I want to be just like them when I grow up.
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19)