Monday, October 6, 2008

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Sometime in the 1950's a little boy was born. True, he was only one out of the millions of children born that year to families worldwide, but this one was special. He was going to be my Daddy.

A gifted little boy who played the piano by the age of 5 and then went on to play for his church a few years later, he was the first of four children. He did not have an easy childhood, the details of which I won't go into in order to respect his privacy. However, he did find refuge in a special lady named My Mama Kathleen, his grandma. To this day he still talks about how good she was to him and the different times she took up for him....and her freshly baked biscuits that they'd poke a hole in the side of and then fill up with honey or molasses. I never get tired of those stories, even though I was never able to meet her in person. She passed on the year I was born. I'm grateful to my great-grandmother that she took the time to help a little boy cope with what was going on in his life.

Dad has always been very protective of my brother and me. I think that's caused me to be protective of him, too. Growing up, I remember people not understanding him. Mostly because he was ahead of his time and very much an individual. Whether it was in his classroom or directing music at church, he was a dynamic force of nature that strove to follow the Lord's direction for his life. I'm sure it wasn't always easy for him to stand up for what he believed in, but it sure taught this little girl a thing or two about integrity and grace under pressure....even if I didn't know what those qualities were at the time.

I also remember watching my Mom alowing him to be himself and even encouraging it when others may not have understood it. When Dad wanted to start using music in his regular education classes years before anyone else was doing it, Mom was right there. When Dad wanted to start using choruses and more progressive songs for the Praise and Worship portion of our, then, home church's services, Mom was singing right along with them. Through all of that I learned that it was a good thing to be unique and try new things despite being teased and made fun of and that having the loving support of a spouse did wonders. Dad still bounces ideas off of Mom and she gives him her honest opinions...even when he may not wanna hear 'em! *smiles*

The same man that some didn't understand or considered to be odd went on to be named Teacher of the Year for his school 6 times and the county Teacher of the Year once. He was recently nominated for an award and won a $1,000 worth of classroom supplies and equipment from our local Staples store. He's released two c.d.'s and still gets calls from churches trying to entice him into directing their music. I guess it took some people a while to catch up with what our family already knew!

So Happy Birthday, my precious Daddy! You are a wonder and I delight in spending time with you and getting to know you. Remember, you're not just my Daddy you're my friend.


Jonny's Mommy said...

Happy B-Day Uncle M.

Wonderful post Anna. Made me all stinkin' weepy!

And I'm not even preggars! :-)

jenboglass said...

It's beautiful over here! This was a beautiful tribute!

Joanna said...

Happy Birthday to the Daddy person!

Anna K. said...

j's mommy~ By the end of typing it, I had to swipe a couple tears away myself...

jen~ Well, thank ya very much!

Jo~ Thanks, Shug...I'll pass it along to him.

jenboglass said...

Um...I totally made the Jimmy Chuze up. But it sounds real doesn't it? I bet it exists. I have a Proda wallet. :)

imbeingheldhostage said...

That is such a beautiful birthday post! Your blog is gorgeous too.
Happy Bday!!

Anna K. said...

jenboglass- I had to ask! Too funny.

imbeingheldhostage- Thank you, Baby! I'm all verklempt that you stopped by!

Anna K. said...

I forgot to mention that my blog was prettified by Darcy over at Graphically Designing! She's a wonder, y'all.