I have listened to many opinions of what success is since returning to America, success as it relates to a man, and his life. I have listened as older women say monetary success and financial freedom is the most important thing to possess later in life, or receive from their husbands. I have listened to young fathers rattle off a million appointments and obligations with puffed up chests, meanwhile their children are left fatherless, their wives frustrated. Sadly, even in ministry, or mostly in ministry, men are encouraged to desert their own families to “serve” the body of Christ.

We really can’t blame the men for all this; I think the poor guys don’t know what the heck to do. Success for men means financial success, business success, fame and fortune. The men that are hero’s in our society are in truth, most times moral idiots…professional athletes and Hollywood celebrities that may be dripping with wealth, but are completely lacking in character, and actually what I consider more sad little boys, then men!

Then, we have what I consider “real men”, like the man that I am married to, and the man that raised me. A real man, is often an un-sung hero. The world does not celebrate the men who day in and day out choose to do the “right” thing. The men who are faithful to their wives, the men who never abandon their children, the men who work hard to provide for their families, these are the only real hero’s that I know of.

Today is my daddy’s birthday, and Sunday I will make him his favorite cake (carrot cake) and a nice dinner to celebrate his life and honor him. I wish I could do so much more to thank him for his love and commitment to his family all these years. I wish I had the words to thank him for taking his own childhood ravaged by abuse and choosing to be a better man than he ever saw with his own eyes. He never had an example of a good man, he never had a mentor or anyone to lead him, he simply made a choice.
If I had the words I would thank him for always loving and honoring our mother, so that my sisters and I would expect nothing less from the men in our lives. If I knew what to say I would thank him for working a job he probably hated to make sure we had all we needed, and even the things we just plain wanted! I would thank him for giving all the boys that came around that intimidating stare-down, and put the fear of God in them. Although I hated it at the time, I know now that my Daddy saw my worth, and wanted to make sure teenage boys saw me through his eyes. I would thank my dad for walking me down the aisle and laughing with me to keep me from crying and holding on to me tightly so I would not trip over my white dress. I would thank him as well when six short years later he physically held me up, this time my legs to weak to carry me, as I walked down a different aisle to say good-bye to my first love and release him into the arms of Jesus.
I would thank him for all the motorcycle trips, the car shows, and laughing with me about politics, and religion. I would thank him for loving my children, all six, from the minute he laid eyes on them.
I wish I had the words to say how much I love my dad, how handsome and sweet he is to me, how I love the way he smells, and the look of his big strong hands that somehow manage to be gentle. I wish he could see himself as I see him, as a raging success in life and as a man; I wish he knew that he is and always will be, my hero!
Happy Birthday Daddy, your life is SO worth celebrating, I love you more than I have the words to say!