Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Being a daddy's girl; a tribute to my dad on his 1st birthday in Heaven

Paul Keith Parks, Oct. 1, 1927--March 6, 2013

It goes without saying that I definitely was a daddy's girl;  my mother recognized it, and many times would affectionately tease me about it.  My mom and I were best buds, and I could tell her anything as she was a terrific listener, knowing that she did not judge nor belittle me in the least.  My dad, though,  was complex, like an onion with layers, and he had the power and position to motivate me in a good way to never disappoint him--whether I was five or forty-five.  He might be the closest thing in my life to a hero.  What (and not limited to this initial list) made him such a great father?

  • He approached things logically with me not just emotionally.
  • He inspired a good work ethic by example.
  • He was protective as, I believe, is unique to a father of only one child. 
  • He made me aware that I was very important to him and many of his decisions were made solely on the premise that I was the center of his world.
  • He rehearsed "what if" situations--possible dangers--until he felt that I knew how to correctly respond in the event they happened (fire, car going into a body of water, a panicked crowd, etc.).
  • He analyzed people and what motivated them and communicated those "readings" of human nature to me.
  • He taught me about God, morality and character--and lead by example.
  • He encouraged me to think.
  • He made me feel very safe.
  • He made me laugh with his quick wit.
  • He taught me a great appreciation of language by enriching my life with the colorful vernacular of his generation and those southern expressions with which he had grown up hearing.
  • He taught me to drive a stick shift, to fish, to hunt, and the list could go on.
  • He allowed me to see his hurts and made me be okay with being human.
  • He hated arrogance and held up humility as the better choice.
  • He was a man of his word and demanded integrity.
  • He made me believe that I could be anything that I chose to be--he empowered me!
  • He made me believe that he would die for me!
  • He would not allow disrespect of himself nor of my mother.
  • He taught me to say "Yes, sir," "Yes, ma'am," "No, sir," No, ma'am," "Thank you," and "Please."
  • He gave me a wonderful love of animals.
  • He passed on a love of gardening--of growing things. 
  • He taught me the art of persuasion because he did not give in to my every whim. . .                   (to be added to as I remember)