Thursday, December 5, 2013

My Daddy {an old short essay}

Note: I thought I posted this essay on my blog years ago. However, I realized recently that my dad passed away before I started this blog. So, it must have been posted on facebook. Or, it has never been posted out in cyberspace. 
Since I have been neglecting this blog due to life, I decided I wanted to post this essay here for posterity sake. It was written over a course of a few days and read (along with other essays) at his funeral. Upon rereading this, it made me cry yet again. So, I am apologizing in advance to any family members (and sensitive souls) who reads this post for I know some of you will cry should you decide to read this essay.  If you do not desire to get weepy, please leave now

My Daddy
by Lee Ann Lenfest
January 2009

I had my Daddy wrapped around my little finger. I am a Daddy’s girl. I could get him to do or tolerate most anything with me. And, oh how I could make him laugh whenever he got upset or angry with me. All I had to do was say something funny, look at him in a certain way, or even bat my eyelashes at him and it would just cause him to burst out laughing and forget about what he was upset or angry about in the first place.

I remember he had such patience with me. He would sit on the sofa with me sitting behind him on the back with my legs dangling over his shoulders onto his chest and let me play with his hair and put curlers in it. We would often wrestle and play on the floor – he was so gentle – he never hurt me. He would carry me to bed as part of my nighttime routine and did this until I got way too big – my feet would drag on the ground. So many precious memories abound in my head.

He was a constant presence and my rock – an ever present sense of security. I knew in my heart that I could always go to him if I needed to even though I rarely did.

I am always forever watching and observing the world around me. This is what I saw of my Daddy:

I saw a man who attempted to attend all the football games, not to mention the concerts, to support his children who played in the band. I saw a man who supported me playing softball by coming to the games – he even took the time to teach and coach me in softball. I saw a man that extended his help and support to others within the same softball league and he eventually became an umpire to fulfill a need. I saw a man that loved to play softball himself and he would invite me to come along and play on his team (from his work) if they were short a man. I saw a man who garnered so much respect among the people he worked with. I saw a man who showed such kindness towards others through his very actions.

I saw a man who was passionate about so many things. He adored birds and knew practically everything about them – he could identify many of them and even knew what they ate. He constantly battled with the squirrels and it was high comedy watching him do that. He loved and respected the earth – he composted and recycled as much as he could. He collected coins and hoarded them – some of which are worth a lot today. He was deeply patriotic – he loved America and impassionedly discussed politics. He was so sentimental that he kept mementos of the days long past.

I saw a man who had tears in his eyes upon giving me away in marriage to my beloved husband, Dan, and he quietly said ”you will always be my little girl” bringing tears to my own eyes.

I saw a man who just adored his grandchildren and would do anything they asked of him, even getting down on the floor to play with them, even though it made him groan. And, he would attempt to attend the important events of his grandchildren – high school & college graduations, weddings, and more.

I saw a man whose eyes sparkled with tears of happiness when I looked up at him among the people in the audience after the graduation ceremony from college. He had insisted that I “walk” for him when I wasn’t going to. How could I refuse his request? After all, I’m a Daddy’s girl who loved him so very much. I did not realize the depth of his pride and joy from this event until a few weeks later when he showed off the framed stuff he had obtained from my graduation. I must confess that it surprised me. It was his way of saying that he was proud of his little girl and it touched my heart.

I could go on and on with what I’ve seen of this man whom I called Daddy. He had such love for his Mother and Father, for his wife, my Mother, each of his siblings, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He adored family and loved the gatherings that would occur.

My Daddy was strong, loyal, and courageous. He was a pillar of strength and he was brave to the very end.
I am honored to know him, to love him, to be of him.
He's my hero, and I am his daughter, his little girl. 1
1 “Daddy’s Girl” by Christine McNamara