My dad loves people and learning about them; he can talk to a millionaire, a drive-thru attendant, or someone on the street with the same authentic interest. My dad is freakin’ smart too; he knows something about almost everything, but he never makes you feel stupid if you have no idea what he’s talking about. My dad and I have had an interesting 30 years together and here are the things I’ve come to love about him:
The way he mixes up words/sayings.
He was once referred to as a raconteur and was devastated. He told us he just couldn’t understand why someone would call him a racketeer! “Once a leopard, always a leopard” is another good one.
He does get one saying right though – “cream always rises to the top (so do good leaders).” He tells me this whenever I’m down on myself or having a tough time. He always thinks I’m the cream, even when I’m actually not.
The way he watches movies.
He gets really excited about new movies, even when the movies have been on DVD for 5 years. He insists I/someone watch with him, proceeds to fall asleep 15 minutes in, then wakes up and asks what the hell happened.
The way he loves my husband.
I have 2 brothers so it’s not as though my dad had a shortage of male company over the years – this has not altered the way my dad loves Zach. They talk regularly, golf often, and spend lots of time discussing sports and smoking the occasional cigar. He usually leaves out the “in-law” part of the introduction when Zach is with him – Zach loves this too.
The way he orders his morning coffee.
My dad loves horse racing and he started a racing syndicate a few years ago, called Big Win Racing. Shortly thereafter, we gifted him personalized license plates that read “BIG WINR.” When he pulls up at the McDonald’s drive-thru every morning (he prefers their coffee to Tim Horton’s) he simply says Big Winner and they know his order. I don’t care who you are, that’s awesome.
He dresses up as Santa on Christmas Eve.
The youngest “kid” on Christmas Eve is now 19, but dad keeps the tradition alive and we absolutely love it. The pants are too short, the beard makes him sweat, and we spend more time laughing than listening to “Twas the Night before Christmas,” but for those few minutes our Marshall family is together and dad is the centre of attention.
He still hates hearing about my period.
I’m 30 and he still groans whenever he overhears a discussion about cramps or flow. That being said, I recently experienced some health issues with my lady parts and my Dad called and texted, asked questions, and checked in on me. Perhaps menstruation isn’t so gross after all?
We text each other every Monday, without fail.
I don’t know how or when it started, but every Monday we send each other a “have a great week” message. His always ends his with “love u, pops.”
He was my soccer coach, my driver (both in the car and in life), my safety net, my debate partner, the first man I ever loved. We’ve had our ups and down but I know how blessed I am to have him. I’m grateful for his smile, his need to impart wisdom (even at 6am), how well he’s provided for our family in his 40 year career, when his laugh gets out of control, and his genuine caring heart. He’s always told us that he wants “he always made us laugh” on his tombstone. God willing, that day is in the far distant future, but there’s no better phrase to put on there. Plus, this one is accurate.