Daddy always provided for his family. It was important to him. He is a manly man, conservative, a rule follower, Christian, honest, and strong. He’s a man of character. Someone you can rely on. When Daddy spoke, we listened. There was no talking back. There was no time to talk it out, because there were always a list of things to take care of. There was always a car to be washed, a yard to be mowed, a room to be cleaned or painted. And never were we to give an excuse. We just did the task at hand.
Daddy believed in hard work. That to-do list was for the family. When there was work to be done, we all pitched in. Laziness was not an option. We had chores, and we were expected to keep up with them. Daddy expected us to walk into a room and see what needed to be done.
At one point in my life, when we were a little low on money, Daddy worked three jobs. He sold insurance and worked in construction. To make just a little bit more, Momma would roast peanuts and pour them in small brown paper bags, staple them shut, and Daddy would take them to the construction site to sell to the men on shift before he started his day.
In my teenage and young-adult years, Daddy and I butted heads a bit, because like my momma use to say, “Y’all are just alike…stubborn!” He was silent, until I opened my mouth. If I smarted back, he shut me down quickly. Even though Daddy and I had our stubborn moments, boy, did I respect the tar out of him. He never gave up. God blessed him for being a man of persistence and diligence. Being raised in the World War II era, it had to have been difficult. There were rations with food, coffee and the necessities during the war. He came from nothing, but worked hard to become amazingly successful in the insurance business later becoming his own boss as an independent agent.
Daddy has always been a faithful husband – totally sold out to my momma. I believe he wanted to prove something to my Momma’s daddy. He wanted to be The BEST husband and daddy he could be to his wife and family. And I’m here to tell you that my daddy IS the best husband and daddy I know on this earth. Without any words, my daddy was one of those dads who gained respect by doing. He didn’t feel the need to brag or ever top someone else’s story.
As I’ve told y’all before, Momma has Alzheimer’s, and she’s in a memory care home. Daddy fought to keep her home, but over time it was hard for him to take care of her. If you personally know my parents, you knew that you very seldom saw one without the other. Very seldom does daddy miss a day seeing momma in her home. He’s still that faithful, devoted husband that he’s always been. It’s so amazing to me to see the love they have for each other. Most days Momma still remembers Daddy. When he walks into the room, her face just lights up like they just started dating. Maybe in her mind, that’s where she’s at in her life, and that’s okay. I always say, Momma and Daddy remind me of the couple in The Notebook. Totally sold out to each other until the very end. Such a beautiful story, and a reminder of how we need to be in our own marriages.
Daddy will be the first to admit he’s not perfect, especially now. Life has humbled him in a way that is quite refreshing. But, I’ll never forget the sacrifices he made for our family. He gave me stability and security, and I considered him my “rock” for many years. He disciplined me when he needed to, and praised me very little. Again, respect was given with few words spoken. We are Wainwrights. We were raised to love God, be strong, be humble, work hard, and give back. My daddy set that example.
At some point this weekend, try hitting the pause button. Stop to appreciate and love on the daddy you’ve been given whoever that might be. See the good in him and dodge his shortcomings. Appreciate the little things he’s done for you, and never forget him nor the sacrifices he’s made. I love you, Daddy!
Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! We honor y’all today for your love and commitment to your families. For those of you missin’ your daddy, may you find peace and comfort on this special Father’s Day.