Friday, September 14, 2007

Three Cheers for the Birthday Man!

Happy Birthday Dad!

I think my dad and I have a special relationship. It might even be believed that I am a daddy's girl however I am also a mummy's girl and a Stuart's girl and a Beki's girl... I am still very much a daddy's girl along with being everyone elses-girl.

My dad has a strong personality that people don't often understand or even like but no-one knows him like his family and even then I'm not sure all of us really know him.

From what I've learned about him over the past 22 years is that he's the kindest man I know. He's also the most intimidating and quite impatient but he's always willing to be called on/taken advantage of by his family. I'm amazed at how he'll jump at the drop of a selfish hat to help people who have gotten themselves into a pickle. He say's he's do it for any of his children and it's true. He is compassionate.

Since Beki got pregnant back in 2002 dad has really changed. I remember when Beki came home with mum to tell us she was pregnant and how dad's reaction was that of a completely different person. I'm thinking of the kind of Saul - Paul change. He didn't shout or threaten to kill anyone. He cried. In contrast to that I remember when 'someone' moved a credit card bill that was really important because Dad had got the credit card and gave it to a family member to use as she liked as long as she paid the bill (?) Foolish, probably. Dad's way of showing trust and love to an individual, definatley. Anyway, the bill had been moved and no-one would admit to moving because dad had turned into a raging beast. Beki, who is dad's bull-headed, impatient twin sat in the same room as him whilst everyone else left to hide and cry with fear. Dad was tearing the place apart and Beki was playing on the computer and winding him up even more... I think the point of that example was to show how in a situation where he didn't have to get that mad he did, a lot. In the situation where he could have killed a teenaged boy, he didnt... and Beki and my dad are very similar.

Dad loves the outdoors. As a family we'd often go out on a drive just where ever we felt like going. Dad can spot wildlife whilst he's driving really fast. That's a talent. I have a ton of memories of going out on drives, camping, hiking, fishing, walking, picnics, fire building competitions... and I hope that when I have kids I can give them the same kind of experiences of being outside as my dad gave me, except without being tricked into walking miles in the rain...

He's a great story teller and he knows absolutely everything - atleast he has some kind if answer for any question you can ask. He loves to learn and then pass on the knowledge in a hands-on way to us. We know a lot of strange things because of him ie. how to drink water if your in the sea with a funnel. Stuart loves to learn too. I love that. Dad took Beki and Andrew on a survival weekend recently where they built their shelters and drank pine needle tea. Beki carved spoons out of wood and they did a lot of snuggling to keep warm. I'm somewhat jealous that I missed out. I would have kept you warmer than Beki did, dad.

He's also very cheeky. When we were home this summer we were talking about survival, something that reeeeally interests him and in turn interests everyone else around him. The main topic of discussion was 72 hour kits and things to put in them. I mentioned a condom because you can carry a lot of water in a condom. You can stretch it so much with water that a person can jump in it like it. My dad said he didn't believe that because he'd tried to catch me in one and it didn't work. Ha! Cheek!
I let him know that one of the things I hate about being so far from home is that I probably won't get to say 'bye' when he kicks the bucket. I should know better than that because I believe in eternity but I think it's natural to want that. Anyway, he assures me that he'll come visit me when he dies as soon as he gets the chance. This should be a comforting thing but I know better. I'm ready to jump out my skin for the sake of his visit.

Something else I love about him is how he's always willing to give me a cuddle and a kiss. Dad is a comfort. He's the perfect shape to curl up next to and be cosy with. He gives great hugs and can make me fall asleep just by patting my back for 5 minutes.

Another tradition I want to carry on with my family is that of having father's blessings on the first day of school. I love the feel of his toasty hands on my head and hearing the special blessings he'd give us. That shows true love right there.

I never really thought dad noticed my struggles much when I was growing up until he gave his belated wedding speech at the dinner table the night before we flew back. Some of the things he brought up I didn't know he'd actually noticed. I guess my trip home was needed more than I thought.

I love you, Dad. Happy birthday!

P.S Your white yacht might have gotten lost in post. Sorry.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to say, Laura, that I am also very impressed by your mum and dad. They are the kindest people, along with my grandma Malone whom you never met, that I have ever known. They are genuine and true and I'm grateful to know them and that you are part of our family. The grandkids are going to have so much fun!!! I'm glad your dad taught you all those things so you can pass them on to your kids and tell them "Papa Stronach taught me." The only think I could teach them is how to make a calf tippy toe, and that's only if a few cows were around!

Love you!