On Sunday, we will be celebrating Father’s Day. For me, I always honor two important guys in my life. My dad and my husband.
In driving my dad to the VA for several appointments over the last year — I am often shocked at how much I have learned about him, often shocked that I did not know everything already. Learning the difficult job he had in Vietnam. I am in my 40s and just now learning about this time that has had a lifetime impact on him.
Beyond knowing my dad on a more vulnerable scale this year – I have always been close to him. I respect him for so many reasons.
Being the only daughter with three older brothers, I will admit I got a little extra attention from my dad.
My dad has worked with his hands his entire life — he would definitely not be classified as clean cut. His hands and arms are stained and rough from decades of plumbing. However, on my wedding day, he agreed to wear a tuxedo. I will bet money this will be the first and last time he will wear a suit.
The only time I can recall my dad ever going to a movie theater is when I was young and begged him to take me to see “Three Men and a Baby.” It’s special to me, because I know he only did it for me.
Over the years, my dad has never turned away from family, paying electric bills when his brother couldn’t. Helping raise many of my cousins over the year.
Nowadays, he is better known as “Papa” and to my children, he is the best. He is the best because his nickname is the “Sugar King.” He sits in his chair and happily passes out candy to my sons, their friends and anyone else around.
My dad has a laugh that can light up a room and a kind heart despite that rough exterior.
Now, on to my husband. You see, becoming a dad for my husband didn’t happen the normal way. In fact, a tragedy in my family pushed us both into parenthood. He, without hesitation, adopted two daughters, and like me, had to learn to become a parent very quickly.
Now, we have added two sons to the mix. My husband works hard, sometimes not cutting himself a break, at being the best dad he can be.
He has taken teaching our daughter how to drive with open arms. I have yet to sit in the car with her. Thank goodness he has the patience to do what I cannot.
Given that I am a rule follower, scheduler keeper and a little over-organized at times, my husband provided balance in our lives. We call it “Grimes Time” because being on time is not his strong suit. But he teaches our kids it is OK to let loose a bit even when mom is going overboard with managing every minute of the day.
My husband cooks, cleans and serves as a partner in a household that is oftentimes chaotic and tiring. He is an example I hope my children continue to follow into adulthood because the amount of sacrifice he has given has been incredible in our more than 23 years of marriage.
Thelma Grimes is the south metro editor for Colorado Community Media.
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