Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day, Pop!

Today, on Father's Day, I would like to honor a man who stepped into my life when I was about five years old, married my mom, and CHOSE to be my DAD!  He didn't have to love me, he didn't have to give me his last name, he didn't have to make me his daughter...but he did!  And for that, I will forever be grateful!  :)

My first memory of my dad is probably one he doesn't even know about yet.  I remember a night in that week between Christmas and when he married my mom.  I know it was after Christmas because I was holding a doll I'd gotten for Christmas that year and I know it was before they got married because it was at my grandparents' house, which means that my mom and I were still living there.  You see, I snuck down the stairs after I was supposed to have been asleep and sat on one of the lower steps.  From my hiding place, I could see my mom and the man who would love her forever sitting on the couch in my grandparents' living room.  There's no doubt in my mind (then or now) that he loves my mom with his whole heart!

On the day when he placed a wedding ring on my mother's finger, he also placed one on mine and told me that he not only loved my mother, but he loved me too and as far as he was concerned, we were all family now.  And since that day, there was never a doubt in my mind that he loved me every bit as much as if I were his biological daughter.  And when I was about seven years old, he decided to make our father/daughter relationship official...and he adopted me as his own!

Sure, there were times when we didn't get along...but isn't that always the way with fathers and daughters?  And he has a rough exterior that might remind you of a grizzly bear sometimes...but inside that rough exterior is a heart of gold!  He loves his family just as fiercely as that grizzly growl he has sometimes...and he would do anything in his power to protect each and every one of us!

When my dad laughs, he laughs with a hearty laugh that comes from his toes.  Nothing warms my heart more than to hear my dad laugh or to feel his strong arms embrace me in a hug that comes from the deepest part of his heart!  His love has a way of making you feel safe and secure, even when it seems a horrible storm is all around you.  I always knew I could go to him with a problem and he would always come to my defense and help me through the hardest struggles.  Most of all, he was always there for me...and that means the world to me!

My dad's favorite hobbies were fishing and hunting.  He taught me taught me how to bait a hook and reel in a fish.  He taught my brother how to hold a gun and wait patiently for his prey.  And he's passing these down to his grandsons.  Last summer, he taught Christopher how to fish while he was down here for a visit.  He and my brother have taken my nephews on hunting trips and taught them all about hunting...a hobby they still enjoy today!

I am so blessed to be CHOSEN to be Bobby Huffaker's daughter!  I'm thankful for his influence in my life, for the lessons I've learned from him, and for the love I've felt as his daughter!  You know, what they say is true...anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a DADDY!  And my daddy is indeed VERY special!  :)

Happy Father's Day, Daddy!  I love you!

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