Sunday, June 21, 2009

daddy's girl

I love both of my parents tremendously, that goes without saying. But I have always adored my dad in a way that only a daughter can. To me he's always been nothing short of the best, the strongest, the smartest, the funniest man in the world. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike. Of course the first time I attempted without training wheels was a disaster. He promised he wouldn't let go and when he did, I ended up face down in prickly bush. I was scared to get on my bike for weeks afterwards. He didn't force me to ride again. All he said was "Jessie, the only person who's missing out by you not trying again, is you."

We had a tradition of going on long bike rides together down by the water. One day I sped off without him, hit a rock and flew off my bike. When he caught up with me, I was laying on the floor, hysterical and bleeding from the knee. Without hesitation, he took his shirt, ripped it into pieces and used part of it to tie around what I felt as though was a gaping, life threatening wound. He gave me a huge bear hug and let me cry as much as I needed to before convincing me that it was safe for me to get back on my bike.

He's also one of the main reasons why I started running. He ran the NYC marathon for three consecutive years. For many people the sheer torture of training for one marathon is enough. But nope, not for him. And one day he handed me a small box and inside I found one of his finisher's medals. I received a medal for both of my 1/2 marathons and I know how special they can be, so when I asked him why he was giving it to me he simply said "You can give me yours when you get one." He's the one I call to gloat about a new PR or complain about an awful race. His attitude has always been very simple yet direct, "Keep going, don't give up, and who cares when you cross the finish line because you've already done more than most people ever will."

When my first ever boyfriend broke up with me, I was devastated. You know how it is when you get your heart broken for the first time. You just feel like the world around you is falling apart. I went into my parent's room and cuddled up next to my dad. All he said was, "Baby, you deserve better than that. Do you want me to kill him?" That's my daddy. Serious but disarmingly funny. He's made more sacrifices for me and my family than I'll ever know, and he's done it all without ever once complaining. I would consider myself the luckiest woman in the world to be able to find a man half as amazing as my dad.

So I'm going to end this blog entry before I start crying because I'm 210 miles away from my parents. Daddy, please don't ever read this. But, happy father's day. I love you!


ChickenUnderwear said...

I have a few marathons medals. It never accrued to me how great of a gift they can be, to some who appreciates their value.

Wow, my daughter is 9 years old. I hope I can be the Dad she says things like that one day.

Unknown said...

I'd be lying if I said I didn't cry a little bit when my dad gave me his medal. It was such a sweet, sweet moment.

And I'm sure your daughter will have things like this and more to say about you. :)