April 15th. A day when we always think of one certain thing, right? Well, not in our family. April 15th is first and foremost - Grandaddy's Birthday. (Grandaddy is my, Benay's, dad.) In honor of this special day for him, I wanted to tell you all a little about why we all think he is great.
Grandaddy and Granna, with Anderson and Carys, December 2006.
First of all, my dad is really funny. For those of you who may not have spent much time around him, this may come as a surprise. To the general public, he is friendly and responsible. To us, at home, he is funny. Not funny in a sarcastic, joke-telling way. Funny because he makes funny faces, funny voices and is always teasing. He is fun-loving and playful. (Hey, that sounds like my husband. Is it true you marry someone like your dad?) One of my earliest memories is of my sister, Cheryl, and I waiting until my dad got home from work so he could play the "funnies" with us. As well as I can remember, this consisted of him laying on the floor, picking us up on his feet, and tickling us until we couldn't breathe from laughing so hard. While the floor wrestling and tickling didn't last forever, my dad's playful spirit was always a part of my life. I am thankful for that and that I see that spirit living on in me, my brother and sister, and my kids.
My dad and mom, holding my sister (the baby) and I, around 1968.
Second, my dad loves the church and the Lord. He was always active in the church and assumed several leadership responsibilities. He has a love for studying the Bible and for teaching it to others. He also loves singing. He has a great voice and loves to sing church songs, especially with other good singers. A great joy for him is worshipping in song. My dad has never stopped learning. He is open to new truths and ideas. This is rare among his generation, as many, it seems, think they have it figured out and feel threatened by thoughts that are different from theirs. What a blessing to still be learning new things from the Lord at 70 years old.
Finally, my dad loves his family. Simply put, I can accept the kind of love that God has for his children, because my dad has always had that kind of love for me. Unconditional, generous, kind and affectionate. Daddy, thank you for loving me that way and for loving my family that way, too.
So, Happy Birthday, Grandaddy. We all love you so much and miss you.
In closing, let me leave you with a picture that illustrates one more quality of my dad. He can grow the biggest, blackest mustache ever seen on the planet. (Thankfully, he only did this one time that I can remember).